ST. LOUIS -- Dakota Hudson’s breakout year in the Cardinals' rotation resulted in a fifth-place finish in National League Rookie of the Year voting by the Baseball Writers’ Association of America on Monday.
The 25-year-old right-hander received one second-place vote and one third-place vote for a total of four points. Mets slugger Pete Alonso won the award with all but one first-place vote, followed by Braves righty Mike Soroka, Padres shortstop Fernando Tatis Jr. and Pirates outfielder Bryan Reynolds. Nationals center fielder Victor Robles finished behind Hudson in sixth place.
In his first full year in the Majors, Hudson consistently made the case for consideration in the Rookie of the Year race. His 16 wins led all rookie starters this year, and his 3.35 ERA came second to Soroka’s 2.68 among rookie starters. Despite many projecting Hudson coming out of the bullpen back in Spring Training -- he was used in relief for 26 games in 2018 and even had one save this year (April 3 against the Pirates) -- he cemented himself in the Cardinals' rotation and made 32 starts. His sinker-slider combo often fooled hitters, and he led all Major League starters in ground-ball percentage, with 57 percent.
Hudson, along with his 2.75 ERA at Busch Stadium, was a key part of the rotation that pushed the Cardinals to their first NL Central title since 2015, and the good news for St. Louis is that Hudson figures to be back in that rotation next season.
“Looking back on it, I have a lot to build on,” Hudson said after the Cardinals’ season ended against the Nationals in the NL Championship Series. “A lot to get better at. A lot to grow off it, so that’s a positive I can take from it.”