Brandon Hughes, Hughes, Cubs discussed on Effectively Wild: A FanGraphs Baseball Podcast

Automatic TRANSCRIPT

It's like you want to remember your family does something really exciting. You're like, I didn't do this specifically myself, but I feel it in a more proximate and real way than I would if it were a stranger. That's really cool, Ben. I'm easy for you. All right, yeah. All right. Who's your guy? Well, today, today we are going to meet Brandon Hughes. Branded Hughes. Brandon Hughes, of the Chicago Cubs, so Hughes was from Royal Oak, Michigan, was drafted in the 16th round of the 2017 draft out of Michigan state, and in his first season at short season ball, he was an outfielder. He was drafted as a position player, and he notched a 91 WRC plus the dip to a 76 WRC plus and a ball in 2018 on the back of a two 37 three O three three O 7 line. And that's not the best. And here I'm going to be quoting from Tim stebbins piece for NBC sports Chicago. And the final few days of spring training in 2019, the cubs gave Brandon here's a choice. It was either get released or become a pitcher for them, he said. Then cubs director of player development, Jaron Madison, said there wasn't going to be any at bats really for me anywhere in the system he was added so I could either get my release papers or become a pitcher. And Hughes had actually pitched previously, but a shoulder injury had moved him off the mound and to being a position player full time. So this was like a reconversion, really. And right around the time he was converting to pitcher and here I'm quoting from stubbins again. Cubs reliever, Scott was switching to throwing sidearm. I just got to see how he went about his business because it was a big switch for him as well. Huge switch dropping down, he said, I got to see that in action and it gave me confidence like, hey, he's going through a switch. So what's different about me? I'm ready for this switch. And so that was sort of underway at the start of 2019. And here's what Eric long and Hagen said about Hughes in August 2019 when he was a 35 future value. Used through all of 6 innings as a freshman at Michigan state and had been a full-time outfielder before his conversion. He's thrown 30 good innings across the Asia, northwest league, and for the last few weeks of the season, South Bend. He turns 24 in December, but he was already has a fair, three pitch mix, 90 to 94, a delivery that's tough on lefties, an average change up and a fringe breaking ball, and he's throwing a lot of strikes. He's 2020 rule at 5 eligible and Hughes now has a three pitch mix that fastball and change up and has added a slider after the cubs had him switch from a curveball to you guessed it a sweeping slider. I don't know if he classifies it as a sweeper, but it is a sweeping slider and he credits that as a big part of his success. He has said recently my mechanics of smoothed out and they're more repeatable now and there's a little more velo in there. In 2021, he had a one 7 one ERA in 26 appearances between South Bend and double-A Tennessee with a 12.9 K per 9 before he was called up. He hadn't allowed a run in ten appearances between Tennessee and Iowa the season striking out 22 with three walks in 16 and two third innings. He was called up on May 17th, he threw an inning in two thirds registering walk and 5 strikeouts, including one to Brian Reynolds and one to Daniel vogelbach, and here I am quoting again from stubbins. Once I had that first full season of pitching under my belt, it was kind of like, I'm a pitcher, and I'm no longer on offense, you said, that said, he could still play the outfield if cubs manager David Ross needs, I already told him Hugh said laughing. I told him I could play a little outfield if you need. And then Russ apparently chuckled and said, I told him, I could have used him a couple of times this year a little insurance. I'm happy to use here, happy for him, his family, his hard work. I think he's got a chance to really help us win some ball games. So nice. Yeah. Brandon here. Welcome to the big leagues, Brandon Hughes, a fun fact from at stats based stats that said Brendan Hughes are the cubs as the first pitcher in the modern era to get 5 plus outs in his MLB debut with all of them coming via strikeout. Yes. So that's something. Yeah. It was a good outing for him. Sometimes we're like, meet a major leaguer, he had a rough night. And you know, it's about meeting some guys we don't know and being excited for them because just getting to the show is like the big thing, but his one and two thirds inning of work proceeded with as such Reynolds struck out swinging, then Ben gamel struck out swinging, then Daniel vogelbach struck out swinging, then Yoshi tsutsugo struck out looking, then Michael chavis walked because he did issue that one walk, and then rodolfo Castro strike out swinging, and then his night was done, and I bet he felt like a million bucks. Well, I wanted to give you kind of a combination meter major leaguer slash stat last year because we were lamenting just the profusion of Taylor's and Tyler's the other day. So many. A new Tyler dropped this season. He was one of those guys whose debuts didn't.

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