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Hudson leads off Baysox lineup with improved batting average


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Photo by Daniel Kucin Jr. Bowie Baysox outfielder Kyle Hudson high fives a teammate.

Photo by Daniel Kucin Jr. Bowie Baysox outfielder Kyle Hudson high fives a teammate.

Published on: Thursday, August 15, 2013

By Daniel Kucin Jr.

Bowie Baysox outfielder Kyle Hudson has put up some hefty numbers this month and has been a force at the plate as the Baltimore Orioles’ AA team fights toward the postseason.

Hudson was bumped to the top of the order near the end of July over  Trayvon Robinson, and the Baysox have been reaping the benefits offensively.

“I am comfortable in the lead-off role,” Hudson said. “I think I can hit pretty well anywhere in the order.”

Photo by Daniel Kucin Jr. Kyle Hudson has improved at the plate since being bumped to the top of the lineup.

Photo by Daniel Kucin Jr. Kyle Hudson has improved at the plate since being bumped to the top of the lineup.

Hudson isn’t the typical power hitter, but he has earned a .291 batting average since the lineup change.

“I just want to hit the ball and hit it somewhere,” Hudson said. “I feel like I am getting good pitches to hit and hitting the ball solid. This is a tough time to grind out this season, but we have a lot of guys who have been through the postseason and are up for it.”

The left-hander hasn’t hit a long ball yet this season, but the Baysox have Caleb Joseph and Niuman Romero to round out the heavy hitters.

What Hudson does is score runs. He puts his team in the best position to win every night as a team player.

So far, Hudson has 81 hits and has scored 48 runs. He has stolen 17 bases, too.

Hudson was hitting a .258 batting average before the All-Star break, but he improved his game, increasing his batting average to .364 and his on-base percentage to .839.

“Quietly Hudson went from a guy hitting .250 to .290 now. Since he has been in that lead-off spot, he has done a really nice job of getting on base,” Baysox Manager Gary Kendall said. “He makes things happen. ... He is doing a really good job in that lead-off spot.”

Hudson was signed by the Baltimore Orioles in 2008 in the First-Year Player Draft out of the University of Illinois in the fourth round.

The 5-foot-11, 175-pound star showcased his speed as a wide receiver and kick returner for the Fighting Illini. His speed and versatility as an athlete makes him one of the best outfielders on the Baysox roster.

Hudson led the Carolina League in stolen bases during his 2010 campaign but was released by the Orioles in 2012. He then signed a minor league contract with the Texas Rangers.

The Orioles noticed his talent and agreed to terms with him in February through free agency, bringing him back to the O’s organization.

Hudson has been a consistent player since entering the league and boasts MiLB.com Organization All-Star Honors in 2010 and 2011.  The MiLB.com Organization All-Star Honors distinction is given to players who had the best season for their organization — regardless of their age or prospect status.

The 26-year-old Orioles prospect should be in consideration during the off-season for his performance this season.

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