I have to be honest, I didn't really think much about Kyle Hudson before this morning, but I have to admit, I'm maybe a little intrigued now. As with Cole McCurry (discussed in this space last week), Hudson has seen his stock in the system shoot up this year. Now at Norfolk, he is at his 3rd progressively higher level in the system this season.
Kyle Hudson is a another smallish, athletic outfielder from the Big Ten. Hudson is probably better known as a kick returner-wide receiver for the University of Illinois Fightinig Illini from 2005-2007. He was second on the team in receptions in 2005 and first in 2006, but was displaced as a first option in 2007 with the advent of the Arrelious Benn era. Having always displayed solid on base skills, Hudson kicked it up a notch in 2008. His .498 OBP was good for 2nd in the Big 10, while he led the conference in walks and was also second in steals and batting average. He was selected by the Orioles in the 4th round of the 2008 draft.
Hudson bats lefty and continues to demonstrate the skills that put him on Joe Jordan's radar. In his three full seasons in the Orioles system, he has walked 53 times in 482 PAs, 62 times in 598 and 43 in 414 and swiped 112 total bags. His career .362 OBP is solid. He has played around 30 games at each of Frederick, Bowie and Norfolk this year and logged OBPs along the way of .354, .376 and .392. His speed seems to translate to good range in the outfield, though his arm is not regarded as anything special.
Comparisons to Matt Angle seem inevitable (smallish, speedy outfielder from the Big Ten), but it would seem that the younger Hudson (he is 24, Angle is almost 26) projects better offensively Angle. Angle is probably the better overall defender, but either may be a better defensive outfielder than anyone on the major league roster.