When I did my 2B rankings (click here to view), I placed Orlando Hudson at #16 behind guys like Mike Aviles, Placido Polanco and Rickie Weeks. A lot has changed since then. Not only has Hudson signed with the Dodgers, but Manny Ramirez has resigned giving almost every other Dodger an increased value.
With all that has changed, it’s obvious that Hudson’s value did not decrease. Would I move him up the rankings at all? Let’s take a look:
407 At Bats
.305 Batting Average (124 Hits)
10 Home Runs
4 Stolen Bases
.367 On Base Percentage
.450 Slugging Percentage
.344 Batting Average on Balls in Play
The biggest question to be answered in his value is exactly where he is going to hit in a now loaded Dodgers line-up. Could he hit #2? If he does, his value increases tremendously considering that his runs scored would increase with Ramirez hitting in the middle. Would he reach 100? Probably not, but I easily could see him getting close to his career high of 87 he set in 2006.
Last season he batted third, primarily, which obviously isn’t going to happen in LA. Rafael Furcal is going to leadoff and then the middle will be filled by some combination of Matt Kemp, Ramirez, Andre Ethier and James Loney. That pretty much either leaves second, seventh or eighth for Hudson, Casey Blake and Russell Martin. I certainly wouldn’t be grabbing Hudson expecting him to have that inherent value of scoring significantly more runs, it’s far from a guarantee.
The health risk also plays an important role in this. Only once has he stayed healthy long enough to play over 139 games and only twice had over 500 AB.
Last season it was a wrist injury, which normally would bring extra concerns for hitter. Since he is not a power hitter, however, the fears just aren’t as great. He makes his living by putting the bat on the ball, not driving it over the fence, which is another knock against him, actually.
When it comes to my second baseman, I’d like him to bring something to the table in terms of counting stats. Give me power potential. Give me speed potential. Give me something. Unfortunately he brings neither, not excessively anyways.
He’s reached double-digit stolen bases once, but seems much more likely to be in the 7-9 range. Yeah, it helps, but it certainly isn’t something that is going to make me jump at the opportunity to draft him.
He is a 10-15 HR guy as well, nothing more and nothing less. Again, that’s a nice number, but it isn’t going to win anything for you. It’s solid, but not excessive.
When you compare him to someone like Polanco, things just don’t match up well. If Hudson were guaranteed to fill the #2 slot, then maybe, but Polanco is guaranteed a spot hitting in front of Miguel Cabrera meaning he could continue to circle the base paths on a regular basis. He has similar speed and a little less power to Hudson, but a significant potential advantage in runs scored meaning that Polanco remains a better choice.
I know playing for the Dodgers brings a new allure and seems to make Hudson more attractive, but for me things just don’t really change. He doesn’t bring enough to the table and the one boost he could possibly get is no guarantee. Factor in the injury concerns and Hudson remains a player I’d rather pass on.
How about you? Is Hudson a player you’d want on your team? Does his move to LA make him more attractive?