Catching Up With Reds Minor Leaguer Joe Hudson

Feb 24, 2016; Goodyear, AZ, USA; Cincinnati Reds catcher Joe Hudson poses for a portrait during media day at the Reds training facility at Goodyear Ballpark. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports
Feb 24, 2016; Goodyear, AZ, USA; Cincinnati Reds catcher Joe Hudson poses for a portrait during media day at the Reds training facility at Goodyear Ballpark. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports /

Cincinnati Reds minor league catcher Joe Hudson was one of 12 minor-league players invited to Spring Training in 2016. This is Hudson’s first invite to Spring Training since he has been a member of the Reds. Hudson’s 2015 was spent in the advanced-A affiliate of the Reds, the Daytona Tortugas. Known more for his defense, Hudson threw out 50 percent of base runners attempting to steal a base. Last season marked a bit of inconsistency at the plate, as he hit .214/.303/.342, but that did not have any effect on his defense. We recently had the opportunity to interview Hudson, and here’s what he had to say:

Blog Red Machine: You got an invite to Spring Training for the first time to the major league club this season, so far how has the experience been and what have you learned or hope to learn while you’re in camp with the team?

Joe Hudson: So far my big league Spring Training experience has been everything I hoped it would be. Being around some of the very best the game has to offer has been a very gratifying experience. So far I’ve learned how to be a professional. The guys in this clubhouse like Jay Bruce, Joey Votto, and Zack Cozart have been very helpful. They set a great example on how to act and carry yourself. Personally, that’s something I want to take away from this camp. Mechanics aside, being a true professional and being able to represent the Reds in a positive light is what I hope to leave camp with.

BRM: You’re known for your defense behind the plate, throwing out 50% of base runners trying to steal, what kind of work goes into preparing for in-game situations and defensive work behind the plate?

JH: Defense is something I take great pride in. I want to be every pitcher’s favorite catcher. To have that security blanket for the pitcher, so he can throw his best game every time he’s out there is my goal. My defensive abilities stem from the guidance of our catching coach Mike Stefansky and coordinator Corky Miller. Two very different guys, but together they both bring unique experience to the table. They continue to push me and my numbers are a testament to their help over the past few years.

BRM: There are a ton of great names, both former and current players when it comes to catching. Which catcher did you maybe model your game after, and why?

JH: To be honest, I never had that one catcher that I idolized and wanted to mold my game after. I always put those guys in a different class than myself because they were in the big leagues and so far more advanced than me. But now, that I’m inching closer, you see some great talent out there and realize that there’s not that much of a difference between you two. I still have a ways to go, but it’s very encouraging. When it’s all said and done, I want to have a career like Joe Girardi: win a World Series as a player and a manager.

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BRM: You grew up in Florida, and then spent two years in college in what some would consider “Reds Country” at Notre Dame. Who was your favorite team growing up and were the Reds a team you followed when you attended Notre Dame?

JH: Growing up and even at Notre Dame, I was a Minnesota Twins fan actually. Former pitcher Brad Radke is a family member of mine and I looked up to him and the Twins a lot. Guys like Torii Hunter, Joe Mauer, Joe Nathan, and Justin Morneau were my heroes. The Reds were never on my radar. Although, back in the day, they had Spring Training games in Florida near my house and I used to skip school with my sister to watch them play. Who knew that I’d be wearing that same uniform now?

BRM: You enrolled in college at one point as a management consulting major, if baseball was not what you were currently doing, what would you hope to be doing?

JH: Yes, I went to school at Notre Dame for business consulting; but honestly the only business I’m interested in is baseball. I want to manage a team after my playing days. I want to be either a manager or front office exec that makes the calls to put a championship team on the field.

BRM: What are your favorite things about being a minor-league baseball player? What are some things you might dislike?

JH: Favorite thing about being a minor leaguer is my teammates. The places we go and things we get to experience together is something that I’ll remember the rest of my life. I have a group of guys that I play with that have each other’s backs and we all want each other to succeed. It’s something pretty special. These guys are my best friends and we all want to play in the big leagues together. Seeing one of my best friends, Jon Moscot, make his debut last year was awesome. I was just as happy for him as anyone. Least favorite thing is the pay. I really wish we had a minor-league union of some sort that would protect our interests and get us paid a little bit more. Minimum wage during the season just isn’t going to cut it.

Next: Phillip Ervin giving a glimpse into his potential this spring

BRM: Lastly, just for fun, I don’t know if you’ve had either, but every Cincinnati resident wants to know: Gold Star or Skyline?

JH: I’ve never been to either Gold Star or Skyline. Sorry, Reds fans! I’ve only been to Cincy once before and wasn’t there long enough to explore the city for some good food. I’m really looking forward to everything the city has to offer; especially the good food.