Alton High All-American left-hander Bryan Hudson has signed with the Chicago Cubs for a reported $1.1 million signing bonus and will report to the club’s minor-league affiliate in Mesa, Ariz.
The 6-foot-8 Hudson was drafted by the Cubs in the third round with the 82nd overall pick. According to the MLB.com website, Hudson’s $1.1 million signing bonus was well above the slotted amount for his draft position ($731,000).
Hudson, who passed on a scholarship to Missouri to sign with the Cubs, was the highest metro-east baseball draft pick since Highland High School pitcher Jake Odorizzi went 32nd overall to the Milwaukee Brewers in 2008. Odorizzi now pitches for the Tampa Bay Rays.
“It’s a really good deal,” said Alton baseball coach Todd Haug, who got a text from Hudson late Wednesday night with the news. “He got what he wanted and the Cubs are going to get what they want, hopefully. He and his agent had always had a number that the family came up with and if they were going to come near that, he was going to give it consideration. He had no issues with going to Mizzou if the situation presented itself to be better there.”
Hudson recently passed a physical and will report to the Arizona League Cubs in Mesa, Ariz .
The Belleville News-Democrat’s Large-School Player of the Year was 10-2 this season with a 0.47 ERA and 150 strikeouts in 70 1/3 innings. He also led the team in average (.436), home runs (four), RBIs (49) and triples (six) and tied for the lead with 14 doubles.
Haug said Hudson probably won’t be throwing a lot of innings this summer.
“They want him to have fun and learn what it’s like to be a professional athlete, get in his routine on and off the field,” Haug said. “From the word that I received, they don’t want him throwing much at all, they want to rest his arm but they’re going to put his body through a gauntlet.
“They’re going to get him bigger and stronger and get him in a routine, then really hit the ground running in early spring training.”
Haug had a lot of contact with the Cubs organization throughout the scouting process. Cubs President Theo Epstein watched Hudson twice in person.
“I have all the confidence in the world that he’s in tremendous hands,” Haug said. “They already have a plan set up for him and he knows what the process is going to be for the foreseeable future. He’s a high-profile draft choice and they’re looking for great things.”