During the 2023 season Pirate minor league outfielder Hudson Head will look to salvage any potential future he has with the organization
Following the 2020 season the Pittsburgh Pirates were part of a big three-team trade. This trade saw the Pirates send Joe Musgrove to the San Diego Padres, while the Padres sent Joey Lucchesi to the New York Mets. Both San Diego and New York would send prospects to the Pirates.
One of the prospects the Pirates received in the trade was outfielder Hudson Head. In fact, when the trade was mad Head was viewed by many as the headliner in the trade. Unfortunately, things have not worked out as Head or the Pirates had anticipated since he joined the organization.
The 84th overall pick in the 2019 MLB Draft, Head came to the Pirates with high expectations. When the Pirates acquired Head he was a top-100 prospect, but he came with concerns over his swing and strikeouts. Since arriving with the Pirate organization, these concerns have shown their ugly heads.
Head spent the 2021 season with the Low-A Bradenton Marauders and 2022 at High-A Greensboro. He has 854 plate appearances in these two seasons and has hit for a .223/.352/.390 slash line with a 108 wRC+. While he's drawn walks at a strong 13.5% rate, he's also struck out at a concerning 32.6% clip.
Power potential was always a big part of Head's prospect status. Well, that power has yet to show up since joining the Pirate organization. In addition to slugging just .390 as a member of the Pirate organization, he owns an isolated slugging (ISO) of just .167 to go with a 7.4% extra-base hit rate.
The 2023 season will be a vital one for Hudson. When the minor league season begins he will be 22-years-old which is still plenty enough to turn a corner, but his career track record makes it seem unlikely this will happen.
Head's swing-and-miss issues are a major concern. It is easy to see him as being in the "prospect" status at this point. If Head will want to change this belief/narrative, then he will need to have a big bounce back campaign in 2023.
Head could start the season back at High-A or with Double-A Altoona. Either way, he will be in need of a big season on the field and at the plate. 2023 is truly a make or break season for Hudson, especially since there's an argument to be made that he has already broken.