Dakota Hudson Rises in Cardinals System

Springfield starter standing out in first full pro season

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. - Springfield Cardinals starter Dakota Hudson is shining in his first full season of pro baseball.
The right-hander ranks in the Texas League's top five in wins (8), ERA (2.69) and innings pitched (107). His first-half performance earned him the start in last month's All-Star Game. He keeps his success in perspective.
"It's just a focus thing. I don't really try to hype myself up," Hudson said. "It's just playing a game, whenever it comes down to it. Whenever you take a step back and realize that you get to go out there and have fun whenever you do it, it makes it a whole lot easier."
With that perspective, Hudson said he does not feel the pressure associated with being the Cardinals' first-round draft pick last summer.
"From first round to last round to undrafted, there's guys that have made the Major League team, he said. "I'm just trying to do the best I can to be one of those guys."
Now Hudson's name is popping up in Cardinals trade rumors. He is a hot commodity, and he is on a fast track. Hudson actually did not crack the rotation at Mississippi State until his junior season, but the 6-foot-5 righty has made huge strides in just a year and a half.
"From where I was in college until now, I definitely feel like I've improved," Hudson said. "Going back to Starkville, I was just hoping for a chance to play pro ball. College definitely helped me mature in how I did take baseball and how seriously I wanted it."
In the coming weeks, Hudson is sure to hear more rumors about trades or a September call-up, but the Tennessee native says he is only focused on things in his control.
"I'm just looking to finish strong, keep going and be consistent. I'd like to keep some consecutive good starts going. Wherever it goes past that - I can't control that."

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