Hudson named Cards' Pitcher of the Year

No. 93 prospect claims top honor; O'Neill grabs award for hitting

Dakota Hudson was selected by the Cardinals in the first round of the 2016 Draft out of Mississippi State. (Jim Redman/MiLB.com)

By Kelsie Heneghan / MiLB.com | December 17, 2018 3:10 PM

After racking up recognitions all season long, Dakota Hudson has one more award to add to his mantle.

The Cardinals' No. 3 prospect was named the organization's Minor League Pitcher of the Year. Outfielder Tyler O'Neill was honored as the top position player.

In just his third pro season, Hudson began the campaign with Triple-A Memphis. There, the right-hander went 13-3 with a 2.50 ERA, 87 strikeouts and 38 walks in 111 2/3 innings across 19 starts. Hudson was selected to the All-Star Futures Game in Washington and was also named a Pacific Coast League midseason All-Star.

"[He's] a guy that attacks hitters with a good set of weapons and knew how to read hitters and apply his weapons," former Redbirds manager Stubby Clapp told MiLB.com.

Offseason MiLB include

On July 27, the Cardinals called up Hudson to make his Major League debut the following day. MLB.com's No. 93 overall prospect was sent to the bullpen for the first time since his rookie season in 2016, but he made the transition with ease, not allowing a run through his first six appearances. Sticking in the bigs for the rest of the year, Hudson went 4-1 with a 2.63 ERA, 19 punchouts and 18 free passes in 27 1/3 frames over 26 games. The 24-year-old held Major League foes to a .196 average.

Across the Majors and Minors, Hudson gave up just one homer in 2018 to former teammate Anthony Garcia, who was with Triple-A Nashville at the time, on May 14. While he left the league for good in late July, Hudson was named the PCL Pitcher of the Year, earning over 85 percent of the votes from managers, the media and broadcasters.

"I think it's attitude and confidence, and he's got both," Clapp said. "He's got a great attitude with how he approaches the game and he's got confidence in his stuff because he's had some success. When you add those two things together, anything good can happen."

Video: Memphis' Hudson gets double play

Teammates with Hudson at both Memphis and St. Louis, O'Neill also had a standout season. The 23-year-old made five trips to The Show while also making two trips to the disabled list with groin strains. But through all the movement, O'Neill was able to put up big numbers with the Redbirds.

The outfielder notched career-highs with a .311 average, a .693 slugging percentage and a 1.078 OPS at Triple-A. O'Neill drilled 26 homers and 63 RBIs in 64 Minor League games. While in the Majors, the 2013 third-rounder hit .254 with nine jacks and 23 RBIs in 61 contests.

Both Hudson and O'Neill were named PCL post-season All-Stars.

Kelsie Heneghan is a contributor to MiLB.com. Follow her on Twitter @Kelsie_Heneghan. This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.

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