The Blue Jays announced Wednesday that they’ve hired Astros hitting coach Dave Hudgens as manager Charlie Montoyo’s new bench coach. Hudgens, 62 next month, becomes the third member of Houston manager A.J. Hinch’s staff to be hired away by another organization since season’s end. Bullpen coach Doug White was recently named the Angels’ new pitching coach, and assistant hitting coach Jeff Albert took an offer from the Cardinals to become their new hitting coach.
Hudgens has plenty of experience on a big league coaching staff, having served as a hitting coach with the Athletics and Mets in addition to the ’Stros. In total, he has 12 seasons as a big league hitting coach under his belt, though this will be his first stint as a Major League bench coach.
A former first baseman, Hudgens had a six-year minor league career and made a brief, six-game cameo in the Majors with the 1983 Athletics. In addition to his work as a hitting coach in the Majors, he’s worked as a minor league manager and roving hitting coordinator. He also spent six years as the Athletics’ assistant director of player development in the late 90s and early 2000s.