The Astros’ hitting coach Dave Hudgens is moving up the ladder with another team, along with two other coaches.
Following four years as the hitting coach for the Astros, Dave Hudgens leaves for Toronto to serve as the bench coach under the Blue Jays’ new manager Charlie Montoyo. He will be replacing DeMarlo Hale, who held that position for five years. Hale has been offered another job within the organization, but has yet to make a decision.
Hudgens played first base in the minors for six years with the Cleveland Indians and Oakland Athletics from 1979 – 1984, appearing in six games with Oakland’s major league club. He also managed in the Athletic’s minor league system and the Venezuelan Professional League. Prior to the Astros, Hudgens was the hitting coach for the New York Mets from 2011 – 2014.
Houston’s assistant hitting coach Jeff Albert will be returning to the St. Louis Cardinals as their new hitting coach. He was brought into the Astros’ system by GM Jeff Luhnow, after working under him in St. Louis’ minor league system. This past season he was promoted from the minors to assume the assistant hitting coach position.
Also leaving the Astros is bullpen coach Doug White. He will be returning to his roots to be the pitching coach for the California Angels. The native Californian attended Arizona State University, as did Dave Hudgens. White, who was also lured to the Astros by Luhnow, spent five years in Houston’s minor league system in various positions before being promoted to the majors last year.
The Astros have seen plenty of coaches and front office personnel leave since the end of their 2018 season. It is still early in the process, but look for Houston to fill these vacancies rather soon. The club will look quite different in 2019 across various levels of personnel, including the players, coaching staff, and front office.