Dropping down and across to his glove side, Hudson’s slider is a true swing-and-miss weapon, posting a 34.9% K-rate, with 25.6% usage in 2020. His slide piece actually breaks much less than the typical slider, getting 4.8 inches of break that is 31% less than average. It can get lined up when he doesn’t locate, with an 8.7% barrel rate that’s the highest in his arsenal.
Hudson threw his changeup just 2.6% of the time in 2019, with the pitch averaging 88.1 mph. Thrown almost exclusively to left-handed batters—with only five of his 75 pitches being thrown to righties—and gets slightly below-average vertical movement and horizontal break. While batters only manage a .241 wOBA against it, their .359 xwOBA helps explain why it’s the least thrown in his arsenal.
Hudson’s curveball—thrown 10% of the time and clocking in at 82 mph—is thrown much tighter than most curveballs, getting 28% less drop than the average hook. It’s horizontal movement, on the other hand, gets 25% more break than average, and has resulted in a 35.5% K-rate that’s the best of any of his pitches, when it comes to the power of whiff.
Thrown 61% of the time, Hudson’s sinker averages 93.6 mph and with 23.6 inches of drop, got 12% more vertical movement than the average MLB two-seamer. The pitch doesn’t get many swing-and-misses—with only a 5.4% swinging-strike-rate—but is a groundball-inducing machine, managing a 62.9% GB%.
With one of the fastest sinkers in the majors, Hudson created a lot of ground balls and gave up no home runs. Unfortunately, he utilized the pitch often in three-ball counts and ended with a 17.8% walk rate, so it wasn’t all peachy.
Hudson’s strongest weapon is this hard cutter that can be incredibly tough to lay-off at 90+ mph. With its excellent late bite paired with Hudson’s command, the pitch allowed a palty .077 BAA across 124 thrown.
A slider is the sole true breaking ball in Hudson’s repertoire, though it could be seen as an extension of his wicked cutter. This pitch has its moments, though it’s used more sparingly to hit the zone than find its way under bats.
Hudson’s four-seamer was effective, having a lot of rise and being used as a chase pitch with a 30% zone percentage. He only threw 10, though, and could benefit from mixing in the rising fastball more.