D-backs acquire Hudson and Holmberg



Dan Hudson — Christian Petersen/Getty Images


By Greg Salvatore

The D-backs have traded right-handed starting pitcher Edwin Jackson to the Chicago White Sox for right-handed starter Dan Hudson and left-handed starter David Holmberg.

Hudson was ranked as the No. 1 prospect in the White Sox’ organization by Baseball Prospectus coming into the 2010 season, and the No. 4 prospect by Baseball America. ESPN’s Keith Law ranked him No. 3 in the Chicago system.

Hudson started three games in the big leagues for the White Sox this season (6.32 ERA) and 17 at Triple-A, where he went 11-4 with a 3.47 era and 108 strikeouts in 93 1/3 innings. His strikeout and walk numbers in the minors this year were consistent with the excellent rates he’s put up throughout his minor league career, whiffing 10.6 batters (10.4 in 2010) per nine innings and walking 2.5 (3.0 in 2010).

Hudson, a fifth-round pick in 2008 out of Old Dominion, has allowed 24 home runs in 310 1/3 minor league innings in his career (a very solid 0.7 per nine), which is a good number to look at to find future success at homer-friendly Chase Field.

Hudson, like Joe Saunders, who was acquired in the Dan Haren deal, will take a rotation spot immediately.

Holmberg was a second round pick in 2009 and has played this season at Great Falls in the Rookie-level Pioneer League. Baseball America and Law both ranked Holmberg No. 8 in their White Sox prospects list, while Baseball Prospectus had him at No. 10.

The D-backs now have nine of the top 80 picks from the 2009 draft — Bobby Borchering (16), AJ Pollock (17), Matt Davidson (35), Chris Owings (41), Mike Belfiore (45), Eric Smith (60), Marc Krauss (64), Holmberg (71), and Patrick Corbin (80) — and could wind up with a 10th, depending on the identity of the player to be named later in the Haren deal.

Holmberg, who just turned 19 last week, is the youngest and furthest from the Majors among the players the D-backs acquired in the two trades this week. He put up a 4.46 ERA in the Pioneer League this year, striking out 29 and walking just nine in 40 1.3 innings. His strikeout rate is alright, walk rate excellent and home run rate (0.4 per nine) also excellent. The runs seem to come from the hits he’s allowed (52 in 40 1/3 innings), so he’ll have to work on missing bats a bit more. 

He faced Missoula, the D-backs affiliate club in the Pioneer League, twice this year, with similar results both times. On July 2, he went six innings, allowing three runs on seven hits and a walk, with three strikeouts. On July 12, he went six innings allowing four runs (three earned) on eight hits and two walks with two strikeouts.

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