Source: Hudgens likely hitting coach

December, 10, 2010
12/10/10
12:11
PM ET

Michael Zagaris/MLB Photos/Getty Images
A source says Dave Hudgens will emerge as the Mets' new hitting coach, succeeding Howard Johnson.

Dave Hudgens appears to be the clear-cut frontrunner for the Mets hitting coach position, with an announcement of his hiring expected Monday or Tuesday, with the rest of the staff. Hudgens was one of three finalists. The others: former Detroit Tigers first base coach Andy Van Slyke (who has ties to Terry Collins and Collins' mentor Jim Leyland) and former Pirates hitting coach Don Long (who was recommended by Jason Bay).

Hudgens manages Caracas in the Venezuelan winter league and has minor league field coordinator for the Cleveland Indians for the past five seasons. He also has served as a minor league manager for the Oakland Athletics, which is a connection to the front office.

He actually was the fifth overall pick in the first round by the Mets in the now-defunct January draft in 1975 but did not sign.

Collins' staff also is expected to include Ken Oberkfell as bench coach, Dan Warthen as pitching coach, Chip Hale at third base and Jon Debus as bullpen coach. Collins recently labeled Mookie Wilson the likely first base coach.

By the way, Hudgens has a blog with hitting tips. You can check it out here.
Adam Rubin has covered the Mets since 2003. He's a graduate of Mepham High School on Long Island and the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania. He joined ESPNNewYork after spending 10 years at the New York Daily News.
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TEAM LEADERS

WINS LEADER
Bartolo Colon
WINS ERA SO IP
10 3.88 106 141
OTHER LEADERS
BAD. Murphy .298
HRL. Duda 19
RBIL. Duda 60
RD. Murphy 62
OPSL. Duda .864
ERAJ. Niese 3.23
SOZ. Wheeler 125