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Joe Hudson spent his entire season with the Advanced-A affiliate for the Cincinnati Reds, the Daytona Tortugas. He wold get out to a slow start in the first week of the season, going 2-9 with two walks in three games. Things picked up in the second week of April for Hudson as he hit .250 with a walk and a home run in four games. Over the final week of the month he would go 3-13 with a second home run and two more walks to finish the month with a .235/.333/.412 line, five walks, nine strikeouts and two home runs in 11 games played.
Splitting time behind the plate with Chad Wallach, Hudson got out to a nice start in the first week of May while playing three games, hitting .400 with two doubles. The second week was more of a struggle for the catcher, going just 2-13 (.154). In the third week he would rebound, hitting .385 over four games with two walks. Over the final week of the month things went south for Hudson as he went 3-17 (.176) in five games. The inconsistent month led to a .264/.350/.340 line with six walks and 13 strikeouts in 16 games.
June got out to a strong start for Joe Hudson as he hit .333 in the first week with a double and two walks. Following the pattern from May though, the next week was a real struggle as he went 2-16 (.125) and the third week was even more of a struggle, going 1-12. The final week was even worse as Hudson went 1-21 with three walks to finish up with a .141/.236/.219 line in 19 games.
For as bad as June was, things began turning around in July. In the first week Hudson played in four games and hit .385 with two doubles and a walk. Things slowed down in the second week as he went just 2-13 (.154) over four games. In the third week he would get moving in the right direction again, hitting .267 with a double and a walk. Over the final five games of July the catcher went off at the plate, hitting .300 with three doubles, a walk and a home run to finish up the month with a .279/.323/.426 line to go along with six doubles, a home run, four walks and 15 strikeouts in 17 games.
The hot streak that ended July carried forward into August for Hudson as he hit .417 and smacked two home runs in the first week. In the second week another home run came, but in total he would manage just three hits in 14 at-bats. Over the third week of the month the struggles continued as he went 1-10 with two walks in four games. The final six games of the season were an even bigger struggle as he would finish the season by going 0-18 with two walks. For the final five weeks of the year he hit .167/.297/.352 with eight walks and 15 strikeouts in 18 games.
Offensively there was a lot of inconsistency for Joe Hudson throughout the season. His .645 OPS looks a lot worse on the surface until we consider that the league average OPS was .651, making him roughly an average bat during the season. He showed the best power output of his career when we consider where he played the season at. However it wasn’t the offensive side of the game where Hudson stood out, but on the defensive side. He helped lead one of the best pitching staffs in the league and threw out 50% of opposing base stealers for the second consecutive season.
Joe Hudson Scouting Report
Hitting | He’s a below-average hitter, and while he is probably better than his .214 average in 2015 there’s not a lot of room for growth in his average either.
Power | Hudson shows below-average power, but could have 10 home run power in the future.
Running | He’s a below-average runner, though as a catcher that doesn’t come into play often.
Arm | Hudson shows off an above-average to plus arm behind the plate. With pop times in the 1.8’s routinely he’s controlled the running game with the best of the best in the minor leagues since being drafted.
Defense | He calls a strong game and is agile behind the plate. He has soft hands and is quiet as he receives the pitch. He has had some struggles in allowing passed balls throughout his career.
The bat is never likely to put Joe Hudson as a starting catcher on a big league team, but his defense is good enough that as long as his bat isn’t atrocious, he’s got a back up catcher profile built on strong defensive abilities. There’s a chance that his bat simply won’t play enough to even be a viable back up caliber catcher, but catchers in general do take a while to see their bats develop. There were some positive signs that he took a step forward with his bat in 2015, but there’s still a lot to be done.