Hudson Haskin and his brother Parker, who’s 14 months younger, spent two years of high school playing together at Avon Old Farms School in Connecticut.
The brothers didn’t play together during Haskin’s senior year, however. Parker relocated with their father to Pam Beach Gardens, Florida to attend The Benjamin School where he finished his final two years of high school.
In 2019, Haskin spent his freshman year of college at Tulane University in New Orleans while Parker concluded his high school career. The two years apart made the brothers appreciate the time they did play with each other, Haskin said.
That joy of competing alongside one another is what led Parker to commit to Tulane to play this season with his older brother, Haskin added.
“It was a dream come true,” Haskin said. “It’s something we always talked about. Getting an opportunity to do that at a school like Tulane is pretty cool. Seeing him doing well and get hits is definitely rewarding than anything I’ve ever done. It’s a cool experience.”
This might have been the only year Haskin and his younger brother will play with each other at the collegiate level.
Haskin has drawn significant MLB draft interest this spring. He is a draft-eligible sophomore after turning down professional opportunities as a senior at Avon Old Farms School in 2019 due to major league teams not meeting his signing bonus demands.
Now two years after bypassing the pro ranks in high school, Haskin is projected to be an early-round pick in this year’s draft.
Last year, Tulane third baseman Kody Hoese shot up draft boards and was a first-round pick by the Los Angeles Dodgers. Watching how Hoese carried himself throughout the draft process last year gave Haskin a sense of what to expect this year, he said.
“It seems a little more real this time than when I was in high school,” Haskin said. “With that being said, I’ve tried to just focus on the team and help the team win games. I just try to keep it out of my head, but obviously, it is tough because you always think about it.”
As a freshman in 2019, Haskin stepped into Tulane’s lineup and was a consistent producer. He played in 56 of Tulane’s 58 games and hit .372 with 19 doubles, four triples, 10 home runs and 52 RBIs in 207 at-bats. His success earned him All-American honors.
Opposing pitchers pitched Haskin differently this spring compared to his freshman year. He received fewer hitter-friendly pitches early in counts, forcing him to be patient and wait for the right pitch to drive, Haskin said.
Despite the adjustments he had to make, Haskin posted a .333 batting average with six doubles, one triple, one home run and 14 RBIs in 17 games this spring. This season ended prematurely due to the coronavirus.
Haskin is a 6-foot-2, 198-pound center fielder who has above-average speed that lets him be aggressive on the bases and cover plenty of ground in the outfield. He also has solid arm strength and strong instincts in center field.
Offensively, the right-handed hitter consistently barrels up pitches. He also has a respectable feel for the strike zone.
“I think my biggest strength would be my speed,” Haskin said. “I think people say that that’s something that never slumps and you can bring that to the field every day. Whether that’s on defense with tracking down balls in the outfield or putting speed pressure on the defense from an offensive standpoint, that’s one thing I bring.”
Haskin has shown solid plate discipline in his first two collegiate seasons. He struck out 29 times and drew 26 walks as a freshman last year. He drew 14 walks compared to 10 strikeouts this spring.
With the season over, Haskin is in Florida with his younger brother. Haskin wants to remain in baseball shape and tweak his swing in hopes of improving offensively in preparation for the next chapter of his career this summer, he said.
“I view this as an opportunity to slow the game down a little bit,” Haskin said. “Sometimes I think when you are in season, everything moves pretty fast, whether you are going good or bad. I think this is a good time to evaluate where I’m at and what I need to work on.
“Mechanically with my swing, I want to get back to the basics and work on things that I maybe have gotten away from a little bit.”
Although this season ended unexpectedly, Haskin believes he showed growth throughout his first two years at Tulane. If he doesn’t return for his junior season and embarks on a pro career, Haskin is appreciative of his time at Tulane.
“Going to Tulane was huge for me,” Haskin said. “Since Day 1, Coach Jewett and I have hit it off. He’s developed me so much as a player physically, as I’ve gotten bigger and faster, and also mentally. I think I have a better understanding of the game and an internal clock and know what to do in different situations.”
Read more stories on top 2020 MLB draft prospects here.
Dan Zielinski III has covered the MLB draft for five years. He’s interviewed 191 of the top draft prospects in that period, including three No. 1 overall picks. Multiple publications, including Baseball America, USA Today and The Arizona Republic, have quoted his work, while he’s appeared on radio stations as a “MLB draft expert.” Follow him on Twitter @DanZielinski3.