June 6, 2012
NOTRE DAME, Ind. - Notre Dame senior RHP Will Hudgins was selected by the Washington Nationals in the 22nd round of the 2012 MLB First-Year Player Draft Wednesday. He is the 41st Irish player in the last 15 years to get drafted despite going unselected out of high school.
"I couldn't be more excited to get drafted by the Washington Nationals," said Hudgins. "I'm extremely proud to represent Notre Dame baseball and hope to make the most of this tremendous opportunity. I can't express enough appreciation to all of my teammates, coaches and support staff that helped me along the way."
"It is always great to see a player's hard work and dedication pay off," said second-year head coach Mik Aoki. "Will made the transition from a middle-to-late inning reliever to starting pitcher appear to be routine, but it is far from it. He put together about as consistent and productive a season as a coach could ever ask for from a starting pitcher. I'm so excited for him to get an opportunity to pitch at the next level."
Hudgins was named all-BIG EAST second team following his only season as a starting pitcher. He made 63 appearances over his first three years at Notre Dame, all out of the bullpen, but moved into the weekend rotation in 2012 and excelled. Hudgins went 5-3 with a 2.06 ERA. He was the first Irish starter to complete a season with an ERA in the neighborhood of 2.00 since David Phelps, now a starting pitcher for the New York Yankees, posted a 1.88 ERA in 2007. He struck out 90 and walked 24 in 96.1 innings of work. Hudgins limited his opponents to a .233 batting average.
In addition to leading the BIG EAST in ERA and fewest earned runs allowed (22), Hudgins ranked tied for fourth in strikeouts (90), seventh in opponents batting average and eighth in innings pitched. He collected nine quality starts and pitched into the seventh inning in eight of his 15 outings. Hudgins allowed one earned run or less in 10 of his last 14 outings and two earned runs or less in 12 of his 15 starts on the year.
Hudgins made 78 career appearances (fourth in school history) and finished with a 15-4 career record and 2.88 ERA. Only two pitchers in the history of Irish baseball (Aaron Heilman, 1998-2001, 2.49 ERA, 393.2 IP; Tom Price, 1991-94, 2.84 ERA, 390.0 IP) have a lower career ERA than Hudgins with more innings pitched. His career winning percentage of .789 stands ninth all-time (minimum 16 career decisions).
Year era w-l app gs cg sho sv ip h r er bb so bavg 2009 3.65 2-0 19 0 0 0/0 3 24.2 23 10 10 13 9 .256 2010 5.56 4-1 26 0 0 0/0 0 34.0 32 23 21 13 23 .250 2011 1.73 4-0 18 0 0 0/0 2 26.0 20 6 5 8 18 .222 2012 2.06 5-3 15 15 1 0/3 0 96.1 85 44 22 24 90 .233 TOTAL 2.88 15-4 78 15 1 0/3 5 181.0 160 83 58 58 140 .238
In his last outing in a Notre Dame uniform, Hudgins tossed 7.0 scoreless innings, limited Rutgers to four hits, three singles, and picked up the victory in an elimination game at the BIG EAST tournament. Hudgins finished his career with 12.2 scoreless innings of work in conference tournament action. He is only the third hurler in the 28-year history of the BIG EAST tournament to finish his career with at least 12.0 career scoreless innings.
Hudgins collected a career-high 12 strikeouts against Pittsburgh on Mar. 23. He also fanned 11 in 8.0 shutout innings to lead the Irish to a 2-0 victory over Michigan on Mar. 10. The 11 strikeouts were the most ever by a Notre Dame pitcher in the 129 all-time meetings with the Wolverines - a series that dates back to 1892.
Washington has now drafted a Notre Dame pitcher and co-captain in back-to-back drafts. The Nationals selected Brian Dupra in the seventh round a year ago.
The three-day draft continues on Wednesday. Check back to www.und.com for further draft updates.