The TORONTO BLUE JAYS today announced DAVE HUDGENS has been named the club’s new bench coach.
HUDGENS, 61, has spent the last four seasons with the Houston Astros as the team’s hitting coach, where he won a World Series Championship in 2017. Prior to that, he served as hitting coach for the New York Mets (2011 to 2014) and the Oakland Athletics (1999, 2003 to 2005).
“Dave Hudgens brings an exceptional coaching background to our organization, including a wealth of experience and the ability to combine his baseball knowledge with a forward-thinking approach to help our team.” said Ross Atkins, General Manager, Toronto Blue Jays. “He’s a consummate learner and teacher at heart and he comes highly recommended by his peers.”
The native of Oroville, California, began his coaching career in 1985 when he managed Rookie Level Pocatello in the Pioneer League. He then managed within Oakland’s system until 1988 before joining Houston as a roving hitting instructor from 1989 to 1995. Hudgens returned to Oakland for the next 10 seasons, where in addition to coaching, he held the role of Director, Player Development from 1996 to 1998 and 2000 to 2002. After his 10 years with Oakland, he joined the Cleveland Indians as the field coordinator from 2006 to 2010. He also managed in the Venezuelan Winter League from 2009 to 2014, taking Caracas to the playoffs five times and winning the 2009-2010 VWL Championship.
The former first baseman was drafted by the New York Mets in the first round in 1975 and was also selected in the 18th round by the Milwaukee Brewers in 1977. Hudgens played at Arizona State University from 1975 to 1978 where he appeared twice in the College World Series while posting a .313 batting average across four seasons. Hudgens then spent six seasons playing in Oakland and Cleveland’s systems, which included a six-game Major League stint with the Athletics in 1983.