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Dave Hudgens was named the Astros hitting coach on Oct. 17, 2014. In his three years in that position, Hudgens has coached one of the youngest position player groups in the Majors, while also overseeing the improvements of key holdovers and veterans. Under his tutelage, the Astros had one of the most prolific offenses in franchise history in 2017, as the club led the Majors in runs (896), hits (1581), doubles (346), batting average (.282), on-base percentage (.346), slugging (.478) and OPS (.823) while striking out fewer than any other club (1087). By doing so, the Astros became the seventh team in Major League history to post the highest slugging percentage and the fewest strikeouts in a single season, with only two teams doing so since 1911: the 1948 Yankees and the 1995 Indians (Elias). Perhaps the biggest beneficiary of Hudgens has been 2017 World Series MVP George Springer. In his three years under Hudgens, Springer has lowered his strikeout percentage each season from 24.2% in 2015, to 23.9% in 2016 to 17.6% in 2017. He did this without sacrificing his power, as his home run totals have increased each year as well, going from 16 to 29 to 34. Astros All-Star second baseman Jose Altuve has also seen his power numbers spike, as he went from seven home runs in 2014, to 15 in 2015, to 24 in 2016 and 2017. Altuve also won the batting title in 2016 and in 2017, hitting .338 and .345 over the last two seasons. Hudgens is in his fourth stint as a Major League hitting coach, which included a four-season (2011-14) run with the New York Mets (2011-14). His other two stints came with Oakland for the 1999 season and then again with the A's from 2003-05. Hudgens and Astros manager A.J. Hinch crossed paths in Oakland in 1999 as Hudgens coached Hinch in what was his second Major League season. Hudgens' coaching career dates back to 1985, when he managed Rookie Level Pocatello in the Pioneer League at the age of 28. He would manage four years (1985-88) in the Oakland organization before joining Houston as a roving hitting instructor in the Astros system for seven seasons (1989-95). Hudgens returned to Oakland in 1996 and spent the next 10 years (1996-2005) serving as Oakland's assistant director of player development (1996-98, 2000-02) or Major League hitting coach (1999, 2003-05), spending two stints in each position. After his successful 10-year run with Oakland, Hudgens joined the Cleveland organization and served as the Indians field coordinator for five years (2006-10). Hudgens has also managed parts of six seasons (2009-14) in the Venezuelan Winter League, all with Caracas, guiding them to playoff appearances in five seasons, including winning a VWL Championship in the 2009-10 season. His coaching days followed a six-year playing career (1979-84) with the Oakland and Cleveland organizations, which included a stint in the Major Leagues with Oakland in 1983. Hudgens makes his home in Houston, Texas, and has four children: Jordan, Heather, Tressa and Rock.

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