Major League Baseball is a copycat league, if something is working well for one team, the other 29 franchises will do whatever it takes to get in on that success.
This is as true for personnel signings as it is for game strategies, with the coaching staffs of winning teams usually being pried apart after just a few seasons.
The Toronto Blue Jays are doing just that by trying to capture a little bit of the Houston Astros' magic with the hiring of Dave Hudgens as their new bench coach.
We're excited to announce that we've hired Dave Hudgens as our Bench Coach.— Toronto Blue Jays (@BlueJays) November 8, 2018
Most recently, Dave served as the @Astros' Hitting Coach & won a World Series Championship in 2017.
Welcome to the #BlueJays, @dmhudgens! pic.twitter.com/vZtquwiQ9C
Hudgens served on AJ Hinch's staff since 2015 and helped engineer an offense that averaged 4.9 runs per game over four seasons and even hit .282 as a team in 2017, en route to the franchise's first World Series.
The Blue Jays have hired Dave Hudgens as their bench coach. He had been the hitting coach for the Astros, who continue to lose employees this winter. pic.twitter.com/kkLcZ1WXhf— Jared Diamond (@jareddiamond) November 8, 2018
This is an excellent move for the Toronto Blue Jays who are expected to go through somewhat of a rebuild this season after missing the playoffs in the past two years.
In 2018, Toronto finished just 16th in runs scored but are expected to gain a pair of young sluggers in Vlad Guerrero Jr. and Bo Bichette within a year or two. Adding a guy like Hudgens to the coaching staff can help ensure that the two players can translate their talents onto the big league stage.
While this signing is definitely a step in in the right direction, there is still a lot of work to be done in Toronto if they want to compete with the Yankees, Red Sox and Rays any time soon.