The Blue Jays hired Astros batting coach Dave Hudgens to be Bench Coach.
Hudgens is 61. He’s been the hitting coach for the Astros the last 4 seasons. Before that he was hitting coach for the Mets from 2011 to 2014. Before that he had the same job with the A’s from 2003 to 2005 and 1999.
Hudgens was a first round pick (5th overall) by the Mets in the 1975 draft, but apparently didn’t sign and then was drafted by the Brewers in the 18th round of the 1977 draft. A first basemen, he made the majors with the A’s getting 7 at bats. He had 6 minor league seasons, hitting .264/.344/.461 with 92 home runs in 672 games.
After the 1984 season he started his coaching career, managing Pocatello in the Pioneer League for the A’s. In 1988 he joined the Astros as roving hitting instructor until 1995, when he went back to Oakland for the next 10 years, 6 of those years he had the Director of Player Development title. Then, in 2006 he became the field coordinator with Cleveland. He’s also managed in the Venezuelan Winter league.
In the press release Ross Atkins says:
Dave Hudgens brings an exceptional coaching background to our organization, including a wealth of experience and the ability to combine his baseball knowledge with a forward-thinking approach to help our team. He’s a consummate learner and teacher at heart and he comes highly recommended by his peers.
He has a ton of baseball experience. And, since he’s managed in Venezuela, I’d imagine he speaks at least some Spanish.
He will replace DeMarlo Hale. The Jays say that they would like to keep Hale in the organization, but he’s looking at other options.
Welcome Dave. I hope you have a long successful run with the Jays.
Also, there might be a trade coming:
Ross Atkins says he’s made headway on some sort of move and might have something finalized within the next week. Vague, but that’s all he’d give us. #BlueJays— Scott Mitchell (@ScottyMitchTSN) November 8, 2018
It’s going to be an interesting off season.
Here is some video of Hudgens talking about Launch Angle and how a rope bat can teach players about launch angle.