|New York Yankees – No. 65|
June 24, 1986 |
Mission Viejo, California
|Bats: Right||Throws: Right|
|April 26, 2007 for the New York Yankees|
(through May 15, 2013)
|Earned run average||4.47|
|Career highlights and awards|
Philip Joseph "Phil" Hughes (born June 24, 1986) is an American right-handed baseball pitcher who has played in Major League Baseball (MLB) for the New York Yankees since 2007. He stands 6 feet 5 inches (1.96 m) tall and weighs 240 pounds (110 kg). He was the Yankees' first-round pick in the 2004 Major League Baseball Draft.
During his time in the Yankees' minor-league system, Hughes became one of the most highly anticipated prospects in baseball. He debuted in the major leagues in 2007, and quickly demonstrated his potential with a bid for a no-hitter in only his second MLB start. However, injury cut short his start; he missed significant portions of his 2007 and 2008 seasons. Hughes began 2009 in the minors; he made some starts for the Yankees, but he was converted to a relief pitcher in June. He excelled during the regular season as a setup man; he struggled in the playoffs but won his first World Series. He returned to the rotation in 2010, winning 18 games and earning his first All-Star selection. Arm fatigue cost Hughes nearly half of the season in 2011. In 2012, Hughes stayed healthy all year, winning 16 games as the Yankees' third starter.
Early life 
Hughes was born in Mission Viejo, California, and attended Foothill High School in Santa Ana, California, where he was a first-team High School All-American pitcher and had one perfect game. In his junior year (2003), he had a 12–0 record and posted an 0.78 earned run average (ERA) while striking out 85 batters in 72 innings. In his senior year (2004), he had an 0.69 ERA and a 9–1 record. In 61 innings, he gave up 41 hits and three walks while striking out 83 batters.
Hughes first committed to Santa Clara University, but he chose to sign with the New York Yankees when they selected him in the first round, with the 23rd overall selection, of the 2004 Major League Baseball Draft. The Yankees were awarded this pick as compensation when free agent pitcher Andy Pettitte signed with the Houston Astros.
Professional baseball career 
Minor leagues (2004–2007) 
In 2004, Hughes pitched five scoreless innings for the rookie Gulf Coast League Yankees, striking out eight hitters. He spent 2005, his first full professional year, between the Class A Charleston RiverDogs and the Advanced A Tampa Yankees. He had a 9–2 record and a 1.24 ERA, and in 85 1⁄3 innings he gave up 54 hits while striking out 93.
After attending spring training with the Yankees in 2006, Hughes began the season with Tampa. He was promoted to the Double-A Trenton Thunder of the Eastern League at the beginning of May after he had a 2–3 record and a 1.80 ERA with Tampa while striking out 30 batters in 30 innings.
On June 13, Hughes took a no-hitter into the sixth inning and threw a one-hitter through seven innings in a 3–0 victory over the New Hampshire Fisher Cats. Ten days later, he put forth another dominant start, taking a no-hitter into the eighth inning and pitching eight shutout innings in a 4–0 win over the Connecticut Defenders. With Trenton, Hughes had a 10–3 record, a 2.25 ERA, and 138 strikeouts in 116 innings. He made one appearance in the Eastern League playoffs, earning a no-decision after pitching six innings of 1-run ball with 13 strikeouts. The game was the only postseason victory for the Thunder that year. After the season, he won the Kevin Lawn "Pitcher of the Year" Award as the top Yankees' minor league pitcher.
Entering 2007, Baseball America rated Hughes the Yankees' #1 prospect, said he had the best curveball and best control in the Yankee system, and called him "arguably the best pitching prospect in the minors." Baseball America also named him the fourth-best prospect in baseball. MiLB.com named Hughes the top right-handed starting pitching prospect in the AL East farm systems. In January 2007, the Yankees announced that Hughes was being invited to spring training. According to Bryan Hoch of MLB.com, scouts believed that Hughes was ready for the major leagues, but Yankees' general manager Brian Cashman said it was "unlikely" that Hughes would play for the Yankees in April. Hughes began 2007 pitching for the Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre Yankees of the International League (IL).
Major leagues (2007–present) 
Following injuries to several Yankees' starters in 2007, Hughes was called up in April. Hughes made his major league debut on April 26 against the Toronto Blue Jays. In 4 1⁄3 innings, he allowed four runs on seven hits, earning his first career loss. In his second major league start on May 1 against the Texas Rangers, he was maintaining a no-hitter through 6 1⁄3 innings before pulling his left hamstring while facing Mark Teixeira. Mike Myers later allowed a hit, but Hughes earned his first career win. After the game, he was placed on the disabled list (DL). He returned on August 4 against the Kansas City Royals, allowing six runs in 4 2⁄3 innings and earning a no-decision in a 16–8 victory. In his final start of the year, on September 27 against the Tampa Bay Devil Rays, he allowed one run in a season-high seven innings and earned the win in a 3–1 victory. In 17 starts for the Yankees, Hughes had a 5–3 record, a 4.46 ERA, and 58 strikeouts in 72 2⁄3 innings pitched. He was the second-youngest American League (AL) player in 2007.
Hughes was included on the Yankees' postseason roster as a long reliever. He made his first postseason appearance in 2007 against the Cleveland Indians in the AL Division Series (ALDS), giving up one run in two innings in Game 1, a 12–3 loss. In Game 3, Hughes (the youngest player on the Yankees' roster) relieved an injured Roger Clemens (the oldest player on the roster) in the third inning and pitched 3 2⁄3 scoreless innings. He struck out four and earned his first playoff win. The Yankees were eliminated in four games in the series.
Prior to the 2008 season, it was reported by numerous news sources that the Yankees were thinking of including Hughes in a trade to the Minnesota Twins for Johan Santana. The trade never happened; Santana was traded to the New York Mets instead.
Hughes began the 2008 season as the third starter in the Yankees' rotation. In his first six starts, he had an 0–4 record and a 9.00 ERA. On April 30, he was placed on the disabled list with a strained oblique and cracked rib. On a May 2 visit to an optometrist, Hughes was found to be slightly nearsighted; as a result, he started wearing glasses on the mound.
After recovering from the rib injury, Hughes pitched for Scranton/Wilkes-Barre; he helped them win the 2008 International League title, earning the win after striking out 12 batters in the clinching game. On September 13, a day after the IL playoffs, Hughes was recalled by the Yankees. On September 17, Hughes made his first start since April 29, giving up one earned run over four innings and earning a no-decision in a 5–1 victory over the Chicago White Sox. In his final start of the season, on September 24, he gave up two runs in eight innings and received a no-decision in a ten-inning, 6–2 victory over Toronto. He finished the season with an 0–4 record, a 6.62 ERA, 23 strikeouts, and 34 innings pitched in eight starts. Because injuries severely limited his workload during the season, the Yankees sent Hughes to the Arizona Fall League after the season to pitch more innings.
Although he had a solid performance in spring training, Hughes began the 2009 season in Triple-A. He was called up to the majors in April after Chien-Ming Wang was placed on the disabled list. Hughes made his first start of the season on April 28 against the Detroit Tigers and pitched six scoreless innings, earning his first win since 2007 in an 11–0 victory. On May 25, Hughes threw eight scoreless innings, earning the win in an 11–1 vctory over the Rangers.
After he posted a 3–2 record and a 5.45 ERA in seven starts, Hughes was moved to the bullpen when Wang returned to the rotation in early June. Hughes pitched well, becoming the primary setup man to Mariano Rivera in July due to injuries to Brian Bruney and Dámaso Marte. Despite his success as a reliever, Cashman maintained that Hughes would be a starter over the long-term.
Hughes's first regular season win in relief came on July 17, when he threw two scoreless innings in a 5–3 victory over Detroit. On July 23, he recorded his first career save after a 6–3 Yankees victory over the Oakland Athletics. He relieved CC Sabathia in the eighth inning and pitched two perfect innings. From June 10 through July 3, he had a 25 1⁄3 inning scoreless streak, the longest by a Yankee reliever since Rivera had a 30 2⁄3 inning scoreless streak in 1999. In 44 games as a relief pitcher in 2009, Hughes posted a 1.40 ERA; he had 65 strikeouts in 51 1⁄3 innings.
Hughes pitched in all three games of the ALDS against the Minnesota Twins, posting a 9.00 ERA. In Game 5 of the AL Championship Series (ALCS) against the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim, he suffered a loss when he gave up a run and also allowed an inherited runner to score in the 7–6 defeat. He had scoreless outings in Games 2 and 3 as the Yankees won the series in six games. He had a 16.20 ERA in the World Series, but he won his first World Series ring as the Yankees defeated the Philadelphia Phillies in six games.
On March 25, 2010, Hughes was named the Yankees' fifth starter. Throughout the season, the Yankees occasionally had Hughes skip starts to limit his innings, in hopes that this would help him stay healthy. On April 21, Hughes carried a no-hitter into the eighth inning against the Athletics before allowing a leadoff single to Eric Chavez; he faced two more hitters prior to being relieved, having struck out 10 batters.
He won his first five decisions, a streak snapped May 22 by the New York Mets. He followed with another five-game win streak, the last coming against the Mets on June 19. After missing a start, he saw this win streak come to an end June 29 against the Seattle Mariners.
Hughes was named to the AL All-Star Team, Sunday, July 4. Five days after his first selection to the midsummer classic, Hughes threw seven innings and gave up one run to beat the Mariners 6–1. His next outing, the All-Star Game, did not go well. Hughes, after retiring the first batter he faced in the seventh inning, allowed a pair of singles to Scott Rolen and Matt Holliday before yielding to Matt Thornton; Rolen and Holliday scored the tying and go-ahead runs on Brian McCann's three-run double that proved decisive in the NL's 3–1 victory. On August 14, Hughes allowed three runs in six innings, earning the win in an 8–3 victory over the Kansas City Royals. It was the 50th start of Hughes's career, making him at 24 years and 51 days old the youngest Yankee to make his 50th start since Al Downing made his 50th start at 23 years and 61 days old in 1964. Hughes had 18 wins (tied for fourth in the AL with Trevor Cahill and Justin Verlander behind Sabathia, who had 21, and Jon Lester and David Price, who both had 19), only 8 losses, and a 4.19 ERA while striking out 146 batters in 176 1⁄3 innings of work. His run support of 6.48 runs per game was the highest in the major leagues.
Hughes made his first postseason start in Game 3 of the ALDS against the Twins. He threw seven shutout innings to earn the win in the clinching game of the series as the Yankees beat the Twins 6–1. Game 2 of the ALCS against the Rangers did not go as well for Hughes, who allowed seven runs in four innings and earned the loss as the Yankees were defeated 7–2. He allowed four runs in 4 2⁄3 innings in Game 6 and earned another loss as the Yankees lost 6–1 and were eliminated from the postseason.
Hughes, who began as the third starter in the 2011 season, suffered from a dip in velocity. His four-seam fastball averaged only 89 mph and peaked at 92 mph after three starts, compared to his usual 92–95 mph. After opening the season 0–1 with a 13.94 ERA in three starts, Hughes was placed on the DL due to a dead arm syndrome. It was later revealed that Hughes had been suffering from shoulder inflammation. He underwent an arm strength rehabilitation program for several weeks. On July 6, he made his first start in nearly 3 months, pitching five innings, allowing two earned runs, striking out and walking two batters, in a 5–3 loss to the Cleveland Indians. On August 2, in a rain-shortened game, Hughes threw his first career shutout as the Yankees defeated the White Sox 6–0 in six innings. Late in September, Hughes was moved to the bullpen after back stiffness caused him to miss a start. In 17 games (14 starts), Hughes had a 5–5 record, a 5.79 ERA, and 47 strikeouts in 74 2⁄3 innings pitched.
On January 16, 2012, Hughes signed a one-year deal worth $3.25 million that included incentives, effectively avoiding arbitration. His deal was a $500,000 raise from his disappointing 2011 season.
Hughes was the Yankees' third starter in 2012. He started the season averaging only four innings in his first four starts while posting a 1–3 record and a 7.88 ERA. From May to the end of the season, however, Hughes had a 15–10 record and a 3.90 ERA. He had a season-high four-game winning streak from May 18 through June 15. Hughes threw a complete game on June 3, allowing one run in a 5–1 win against the Tigers. On June 26, he threw eight shutout innings and earned the win in a 6–4 victory over Cleveland. He threw 7 1⁄3 shutout innings and earned the win on September 13 in a 2–0 victory over the Boston Red Sox. In 32 starts, Hughes had a 4.19 ERA and 165 strikeouts in 191 1⁄3 innings pitched. He was tied for sixth in the AL in wins (18, with Max Scherzer, Yu Darvish, and Hiroki Kuroda), but he also tied for eighth in the league in losses (13, with Dan Haren and Ervin Santana).
In Game 4 of the ALDS against the Baltimore Orioles, Hughes allowed one run in 6 2⁄3 innings but received a no-decision in a 13-inning, 2–1 loss. The Yankees won the series in five games. In Game 3 of the ALCS against Detroit, Hughes allowed one run in three innings before exiting with back stiffness; he took the loss as the Yankees lost 2–1. The Tigers swept the Yankees in four games.
Hughes began the 2013 season on the DL with a bulging disc in his back. He returned from the DL on April 6, allowing four runs (three earned) in four innings and earning the loss as Detroit won 8–4. On May 15, 2013 against the Mariners, Hughes only lasted after the first 2 outs in the first inning giving up 7 runs. It was the shortest outing of his career and the shortest by a Yankee pitcher at the new Yankee Stadium.
As a child, Hughes was a Boston Red Sox fan. He had a poster of Nomar Garciaparra with the slogan "Reverse the Curse" on his bedroom wall. Hughes is a Christian. His baseball glove has the reference for the Bible verse Philippians 4:13 on it, and Hughes has the entire verse ("I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.") tattooed on his left arm. He enjoys watching the Food Network and is a fan of Alton Brown.
Scouting report 
Hughes's pitch repertoire has varied over the years, although his main pitch has consistently been a four-seam fastball at 92–95 mph, and he has also relied on a spike curveball in the range of 73–77 mph. He has also developed a mid-80s Vulcan changeup against left-handed hitters, and in mid-2012 he developed a low-80s slider to right-handers.
|“||It was something I was messing around with in rehab and figured could be a good equalizing pitch in fastball counts. It was basically a way to get some cheap outs. It was also a pitch that was easier for me to control than a slider. It’s just a fastball grip with a little alteration, so it was easier for me to throw strikes with it. That was kind of the purpose to adding it in.||”|
By early 2011, Hughes's velocity on his fastball was down several mph; John Harper of the New York Daily News speculated that Hughes's overuse of the cutter was to blame, not a dead arm. Hughes continued to use the cutter into the start of the 2012 season; he posted a 7.88 ERA in April, throwing the cutter about 12% of the time in this span. In early May, Hughes dropped the cutter from his repertoire, using it only 1.2% of the time for the rest of the year.
Hughes asserts that the hamstring injury he suffered in his rookie year has permanently altered his pitching mechanics: "My stride, and things like that, have never quite been the same."
Awards and honors 
- 2004 – 1st team High School All-American P
- 2006 – New York Yankees Minor League Player of the Year
- 2007 – AL East Division Top Prospects (Right-handed starting pitcher)
- 2007 – Baseball America's Top 100 prospects: #4.
- 2009 - World Series champion
- 2010 – American League All-Star
See also 
- "Phil Hughes Stats, Video Highlights, Photos, Bio". MLB.com. Retrieved February 8, 2013.
- Feinsand, Mark (2004-06-07). "Bombers take California righty". MLB.com. Retrieved 2011-08-22.
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- "Hughes flirts with "no-no" in 4-0 Trenton win". oursportscentral.com. June 23, 2006. Retrieved February 13, 2013.
- "Matsui, Hughes lead Thunder to 3-1 win". oursportscentral.com. September 6, 2006. Retrieved February 13, 2013.
- "Thunder season ends with "walkoff" loss to Sea Dogs". oursportscentral.com. September 9, 2006. Retrieved February 13, 2013.
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|Wikimedia Commons has media related to: Phil Hughes|
- Career statistics and player information from MLB, or ESPN, or Baseball-Reference, or Fangraphs, or The Baseball Cube, or Baseball-Reference (Minors)
- Phil Hughes on Twitter
- Phil Hughes' Official Blog on YardBarker
- Phil Hughes' Old Blog