LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. -- Tim Hudson has enjoyed watching Mike Soroka, Kolby Allard, Kyle Wright and some of the Braves' other young pitchers experience the early days of Spring Training."It's hard to pick one that is better than the other when you're watching them throw," Hudson said. "They're all
LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. -- Tim Hudson has enjoyed watching Mike Soroka, Kolby Allard, Kyle Wright and some of the Braves' other young pitchers experience the early days of Spring Training.
"It's hard to pick one that is better than the other when you're watching them throw," Hudson said. "They're all really young, but they are polished beyond their years. The stuff they are throwing in there is pretty good. I don't even know if I'd get drafted these days."
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Three weeks separated from his induction into the Braves' Hall of Fame, Hudson has spent this week serving as a special instructor at Spring Training. He'll attend Sunday afternoon's workout and then return to his hometown of Auburn, Ala., to continue his duties as Lee Scott Academy's junior varsity baseball coach.
Hudson notched 222 wins and a 3.49 ERA during his 17-season Major League career. As he played with the Braves from 2005-13, he served as a valuable mentor to Kris Medlen, Tommy Hanson and many other young pitchers who passed through the organization.
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"I was blessed to pitch a lot of years and have some really knowledgeable people pour into me as a player," Hudson said. "It comes full circle. You hope what you've learned over the years can help young kids and young big leaguers. Obviously the game changes and evolves over the years. You just hope what you've learned over the years can be incorporated into the philosophy of today's game."
The Braves' big league Spring Training camp includes five pitchers -- Soroka, Allard, Wright, Luiz Gohara and Max Fried -- who are listed on MLB Pipeline's Top 100 Prospects list.
As Wright has experienced the early days of first Spring Training, he has made a strong impression and shown why many considered him to be the best right-hander available in last year's Draft.
Before Saturday afternoon's workout, Hudson spent some time talking mechanics, grips and approach with Soroka, the cerebral Canadian who features a heavy sinker -- a pitch that proved so valuable to Hudson during his career.
"I'm impressed with [Soroka], and not just from a pitching standpoint," Hudson said. "He's pretty smart and mature for a 20-year-old. I think he wants to be really good, and I think he has a chance to do it.
"You talk to a lot of kids, and they're listening half the time. Half the time they're looking at you, and half the time they're not. He's locked in. He looks you in the eye the whole time, asking really good questions, not questions that 20-year-olds usually ask. That tells me a lot about him and where he's at, mentally, from a pitching standpoint. He knows what he's looking for, and he asks the right questions. I just hope I gave him the right answers."
Mark Bowman has covered the Braves for MLB.com since 2001.