Hudgens rooting for ex-pupils on Mets in Series
Former NY hitting coach wishes Astros were there, but is happy for Murphy, Wright
HOUSTON -- Astros hitting coach Dave Hudgens would rather be watching the World Series from the dugout while in uniform rather than on the television, but he has more than a passing interest in the Fall Classic matchup between the Mets and the Royals.
Hudgens spent four seasons as hitting coach of the Mets prior to being hired by Astros manager A.J. Hinch a year ago and still has good friends in the Mets organization. He keeps in touch via text message with a few of the coaches and is rooting for some of his former pupils to do well.
"I'm pulling for them," Hudgens said. "I have so many friends there. Yeah, it's great to see. They're quality guys, hard-working guys. They've been through a lot. I wish we were playing them, but I'll enjoy it."
Hudgens, 58, has spent nine years as a Major League hitting coach and worked closely with some of the Mets' key players, including David Wright, Daniel Murphy and Lucas Duda, while under manager Terry Collins.
"They've got some quality guys and added [Yoenis] Cespedes and a few pieces, but they've got some quality offense there," Hudgens said. "Their pitching staff, their starting pitching is outrageous, and they have [closer Jeurys] Familia at the back and quality guys like [Tyler] Clippard, [Bartolo] Colon in the middle. Obviously, they're pretty solid and playing well with a lot of confidence."
Hudgens has been particularly impressed with the red-hot bat of Murphy, who has homered in a record six consecutive playoff games and was named the NLCS Most Valuable Player.
"He's been unbelievable," he said. "It's been fun to watch. He's a hard-working guy, and it's great for him, great for the organization and everybody else there. I'm happy for him."