A closer look at Hudson and Holmberg

I asked MLB.com’s resident prospect expert Jonathan Mayo for a look at the two pitchers the D-backs received today for Edwin Jackson. Here’s what Mayo had to say:

The Diamondbacks may have traded Edwin Jackson away to the White Sox, but they got two young arms in return. Here’s some more information on Dan Hudson and David Holmberg.

Hudson, 23 years old, was a fifth-round pick of the White Sox in 2008. In his first full season, he made a bee-line through Chicago’s system, starting in the Class A South Atlantic League and finishing in the big leagues. He was named MLB.com’s Minor League Starting Pitcher of the Year for pitching at four levels and going 14-5 with a 2.32 ERA in 26 starts. He struck out 166 and walked only 34 while holding hitters to a .200 average in 147 1/3 IP. He made it up to the big leagues last year and had a 3.38 ERA in six games, two of them starts.

Hudson competed for a job in the rotation this spring, but got sent down to Triple-A to start the year instead. After a rough April, he turned it around and was 11-4 with a 3.47 ERA when he was called up to take Jake Peavy’s spot in the rotation.

Hudson gets success with a three-pitch mix and excellent command. All of his stuff plays up because of deception in his delivery. He’s got an excellent fastball, up to 93 mph, with plus life. He has the potential to have an average slider with a changeup that grades out as plus right now. He hasn’t had overwhelming success at the big-league level, but his stuff has been just as good as it’s always been. He’ll step right into the Diamondbacks rotation.

If Hudson is the “now” part, Holmberg is the “later” part. The 2009 second-rounder had been pitching with Great Falls in the Pioneer League, making eight starts and posting a 4.46 ERA in 40 1/3 innings. The Diamondbacks really liked the 19-year-old lefty coming out of high school in Florida.

He doesn’t have plus stuff, but he really knows how to pitch. He has four pitches in his arsenal. He throws his fastball in the 87-90 mph range, typically sitting at 87-88 mph. His curve and changeup are his best secondary pitches. He also has a slider which isn’t purely developed or defined. His fastball plays up because of his angle — he uses every inch of his 6-foot-4 frame. Like with most young pitchers, he needs to improve his fastball command.

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