POTD Orlando Hudson - Skill Set

Q.  What is the skill set here?

A.  The skill set starts with 5.5 runs created per 27 outs. 

For those who don't breathe baseball like Space Guilders breathing spice gas, that means that if you had 9 Orlando Hudsons lined up on your Strat-O-Matic team, you'd score 5.5 runs per game. 

In the NL, that offense would win 94 games.   Obviously that's seriously sweet production from a guy who is playing second base.


Hudson peaked up to 5.7 runs per 27 outs the three years prior to 2009, and then produced 5.3 per game this year.

By way of comparison, Jose Lopez' RC/27 was only 4.2 this season.

I don't say that's the gospel truth, that Hudson's a way better hitter than JLo -- he is not.  But don't undersell Hudson's bat.


Q.  How does he get so many bases?

A.  By doing everything fairly well -- he hits .280, and he gets 60 walks, and he hits 30 doubles, and he hits 10 homers, and he steals... ok, forget the steals.  Back in 2004-05, when he was an excellent fielder too, this guy was a championship-level second baseman. 

If you chalk him up as an average fielder nowadays, he's still a guy you can win a pennant with.  Hey, the Dodgers did.  Just now.


Q.  How is the defense?

A.  I'll pass.   I don't watch the NL.  You amigos can look up the various stats as well as I can.

Jon made an interesting point that he had tons of OOZ plays (despite his lukewarm range overall).   That lightly suggests that when he's feeling good, he's still plus.


Q.  How's the health?

A.  As Matt pointed out, the overall picture isn't great.  ... his production off FB's is down, again a nice catch by Matt ... he's missing time, his defense is sinking, he's in the training room...

If the M's acquire him, I'd LOVE to see them pull a Rickey on him, schedule him for 120-130 games, play him in a 4-man infield rotation (with Tui, Jack Wilson* and let's say a Greene or Everett or somebody who wants an extra $1M to play in a rotation).

In 2010, I'll bet that Hudson could give you a pretty good 125 games.


Q.  Are you down with moving Lopez out to move Hudson in?  Is that a better fit for Safeco?

A.  Well, 5.3 runs per 27 is a better fit for a lot of parks than 4.5 is.  Hudson is a guy who walks, and is also a groundball hitter, so he's not going to be lofting balloons up into the "heavy" Safeco air.  In that sense, he's a Safeco player, mildly so.


Lopez looks like he'd be a bad fit for Safeco, but he hasn't hurt the Mariners.   His lifetime OPS is .689 at home, .740 away, and in 2008 he SLG'd .511 at Safeco, .374 away.   He puts the HR's right over the scoreboard.

Interestingly, Jose's SLG was indeed 240 points higher on the road in 2009, which reversed the year before.

I suspect that Jose is about to SLG .500-.550 overall, if he gets into a better park, and is about to pull a Carlos Guillen v2.0.   If you trade him, you'd better get Carlos Guillen value for him.

Let's suppose that Lopez continues to hit 25 homers with 100 RBI for us from now on.  Why deal him, just because it would be 30 and 120 for somebody else?


Still and all, let's say you actually could deal Lopez for an impact player -- John Danks is an impact player -- and then just sign Orlando Hudson, and Hudson posted a 5.1 RC/27 next year.

That's a do-er, kiddies.


Dr D



If you're trading Lopez for prospects just to get Hudson in here because he fits better for the park and you're praying he upgrades your defense at 2B, you're a fool.  If you're trading Lopez to get that all important #2 starter we need to eat big time innings behind King Felix and then signing Hudson to fill in for Lopez while we groom Franklin or Tui for that spot...that's a different matter.

shields's picture

That's about how I see it as well.

Anonymous's picture

Yep.  If Ramon Santiago is coming in just because I feel like moving Guillen for NO REASON in order to sign Rich Aurilia and make sure I don't hurt anybody's feelings (other than Guillen's) then I'm a fool.  Guillen was worth more than we got for him even before his breakout seasons.
Lopez is not terrible.  He's not a black hole of production.  And while I had him at a Belliard low projection and a Tejada high one, he's nicely in the middle right now, cheap, and capable.  if we can trade him for something of WORTH, then fine.  Trading him to trade him is silly.  I'm not enamored of Hudson, especially since he'll be making at least twice what Lopez is, but neither am I tied inextricably to Jose.
I just don't want to suffer through another trade of a kid putting it together for pieces that make no sense in return.  Not since I'm stuck watching Choo (146 and 128 OPS+ the last two eyars) and Cabrera (107 OPS+ at 23 as a middle infielder) and Soriano (140 ERA+ and 27 saves) and the rest doing just fine and rubbing plenty of salt in my Guillen-started wound.
I've had enough of those sorts of trades.  If Lopez goes, then we'd better get more than an old dish towel for him, or he needs to stay right here.  Don't trade him just to clear roster space.  Especially not for Hudson alone.  I'm right with Matt on that one.


...that Lopez isn't necessarily going to be dealt just because we sign O-Hud.  If we do sign O-Hud, we have the option of moving J-Lo over to third.


You had to bring up Choo, dintcha.
Remember he played one game in CF for Hargrove, didn't get to a ball, and then Grover yanked him out of the lineup overall with a "See?  I told you this was a joke" air...
Had somebody pointed his finger at Choo and said, "That kid can play," well...


If you signed Hudson, played Lopez at 3B, then with Tui you'd have the 4-man rotation we talked about.   And that would take the pressure off of Tui's rookie year.
Pretty ideal solution to the 3B problem, assuming that Hudson has at least another 130-game season left in him.


If you could get Hudson to buy into playing less when he starts to get tired (it says in the paper that he bought into it just fine in LA), then you can run this roster...
Adam Moore (100 G) - min
Rob Johnson / Veteran FA (60 G) - $1.0M total
1B/DH) Russell Branyan (135 G) - $6.0M
3B/2B) Jose Lopez (140 G) - $2.3M
2B) Orlando Hudson (125 G) - $8.0M
SS) Jack Wilson (130 G) - $6.0M (renegotiated down a bit)
3B/2B/1B) Matt Tuiasosopo (70 G) - min
IF) Jack Hannahan (65 G) - $0.6M
RF) Ichiro! (155 G) - $12.5M
CF) Franklin Gutierrez (150 G) - $3.0M
OF) Michael Saunders (105 G) - min
OF) Ryan Langerhans (75 G) - $0.8M
DH) Adam Dunn (145 G) - $10.0M
Starting Rotation:
SP1) King Felix Hernandez (35 Starts) - $12.0M
SP2) Erik Bedard (15 Starts)/Ben Sheets (15 Starts) - $8.0M combined
SP3) Ryan Rowland-Smith (20 Starts)/Brandon Morrow (15 Starts) - $1.2M combined
SP4) Ian Snell (30 Starts) - $3.0M
SP5) Doug Fister (30 Starts) - min
CL) David Aardsma - $1.5M
SUR) Mark Lowe - $1.0M
SUL) Garrett Olson - $0.6M
MRR) Shawn Kelley - min
MRL) Jason Vargas - min
MR) Sean White - $0.7M
LR) Carlos Silva - $12.0M
Total salary: ~$91.5M


Bedard and Sheets splitting time, Dunn cleaning up, Orlando Hudson fixing the 3B problemo, and Tui the fourth member of a super-committee around the horn? :- )
We hereby appoint you co-GM.  You deserve at least 1/3 the job.
One snag we'd run into -- with Jack Wilson's health woes, they'd like for the 4th guy to be a shortstop.  Although if it's me, I'd think Jose Lopez could play SS as well as Jack Hannahan could.


And traded away Hall (or outright cut him).  Hannahan can play short just fine for 30 games.  I've got no problem with that.  Z might...he might prefer to keep Josh Wilson instead of Hannahan just to have a second legit SS.  But that's not too horrible I guess.
I'm enjoying my typical line-up at the moment though:
Ichiro! (RF)
Hudson (2B)
Dunn (DH)
Lopez (3B)
Branyan (1B)
Gutierrez (CF)
Moore/Johnson (C)
Saunders/Langerhans (LF)
Wilson (SS)
That line-up can win the AL West assuming the defense stays solid and assuming we get nice contributions from Tui, Saunders and Moore.

Anonymous's picture

The team can always stash a Josh Wilson type in AAA just in case Jack Wilson goes down.

Anonymous's picture

Maybe Sandy can check me on this, but it looks like Kelly Johnson, former(?) 2B for the Braves, had a down year driven mostly by a low BABIP (.249) compared to his career avg (.313). 
In '07 Johnson was a 3 WAR player, 2.1 in '08.  Johnson seems to have lost the 2B gig and was rumored to have been shopped by the Braves before the deadline last season.
How does Johnson compare to O. Hudson in projected production and value for next season?  Could Kelly Johnson be a target for Jack Z?  
If Z is determined to move Lopez, Johnson seems like a good buy low candidate.  Thoughts?   


and very sly of the M's to have their guys post POTD suggestions anonymously.  ;- )  Where do the super-posters here pick up their game tix?


Kelly Johnson came in, hit up a storm, and I was thinking, (at the time), OH BOY!  A good hitting, young middle infielder ... he could be the next Chipper ... a decades long All-Star, but at an even juicier position than 3B.  But, like many players who start off big, the league adjusted, and he's struggled a bit, since.
I think long term, he's a .780ish bat with 10-HR power who will draw 50-60 walks.  The problem is that his hitting profile has been so unstable, it's hard to get a clear read on what he "really" is.  His age 25 season, ('07), he had 100 points of patience, and an ISO of .180.  The next year, he had 62 points of patience, and an ISO of .159.  This season, in sporadic play, 79 patience, and an ISO of 165, (and as noted, a BABIP that completely tanked).  The picture just doesn't make much sense.  His EYE ratio has gone 1.48 -- 2.17 -- 1.69 the past three seasons.  I've gotten gun shy on "assuming" that massive plunging BABIPs are just luck -- (thank you Richie Sexson) -- but there's no real evidence he adopted a pepper swing, as he actually had a 10 point spike in XBH%. 
Defensively, he's meh.  Knowing how sketchy defensive stats are, my eyes on combined with my stat watching says pretty much the same thing ... he's decent, but never going to be spectacular.  He was one of only 10 2Bs in baseball to reach 700 chances in 2008, (a full season) ... and only Kinsler did it in fewer innings.  His fielding percentage is poor, but not killer bad.  About half of all full-time 2Bs have similar error totals -- so he's bottom half in that regard.
Defensively, I'd put him in a similar class to Lopez.  Offensively, he obviously has more patience than Lopez, (who doesn't?), but less power.  He's NOT going to move into Safeco and start hitting 25 HRs, (but he might manage 40 doubles and double-digit triples). 
As to why the Braves are wanting to move him?  Two words - Prado and Infante.  Prado is younger, looks just a bit better in the field, and appears to be as good, perhaps a hair better at the plate, and has more remaining upside potential.  Basically, it's not that Kelly isn't worth having, it's that the Braves are currently blessed with MI depth. 
Me?  I think KJ would be a lateral move compared to Lopez ... but one that would appeal to lots of Seattle fans, who would see Johnson's lefty bat and patience as improvements, even if the aggregate isn't actually more productive.  I think his 2008 UZR numbers almost certainly overstate his defensive shortcomings, (supported by 2009 numbers that show him dead-solid perfect average (0.0 UZR/150). 
The danger with Johnson is that his BABIP plunge is symptomatic of something larger.  I don't believe this to be true, but must recognize that it could be.

Anonymous's picture

A lateral move with upside at 2B would make the haul from a Lopez-headed trade pure gravy.  
Naturally, the whole lateral move thing depends heavily on what you would have to give up for Johnson and what Lopez would bring back.
IF Kelly could be had for one or two Everett of Tennessee players, and IF a Lopez package can bring back an impact starter, this would be the kind of sequence I could see Z pulling off.

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