CHICAGO -- Bryan Hudson grew up in Alton, a city in southern Illinois just a 25 miles north of St. Louis.
He prepped at Alton High School, where the 6-foot-8, 220-pound left-hander blossomed into one of the nation's top prep pitchers, ranked the No. 71 Draft prospect per MLB.com. He did all of that while playing for the Redbirds -- sometimes wearing uniforms that looked similar to that of the St. Louis Cardinals.
It's safe to say from here on out that Hudson is all about Cubbie blue.
The Cubs opened Day 2 of Major League Baseball's First-Year Player Draft on Tuesday by selecting the 18-year-old Hudson in the third round. Hudson was one of eight players taken by the Cubs on Tuesday. Chicago has selected 10 players through the first two days: Six pitchers (three right-handers, three lefties), three outfielders and one infielder. Eight of the Cubs' picks were collegiate players, while Hudson was one of two high schoolers selected.
The Draft concludes on Wednesday, with exclusive coverage of Rounds 11-40 beginning on MLB.com at 11 a.m. CT.
Hudson went 10-2 with five shutouts, a 0.50 ERA and 152 strikeouts in 70 1/3 innings over 15 appearances (13 starts) as a senior. He also held opponents to a .138 average and posted a 0.90 WHIP, averaging 19.45 strikeouts per nine innings while walking only 29.
Verbally committed to Missouri, Hudson is a three-time All Southwestern Conference pitcher, a two-time All-State selection by the Illinois Coaches Association and a two-time All-State choice by Prep Baseball Report.
He was recommended by Cubs area scout Stan Zielinski,
But the numbers and accolades are only part of what makes Hudson special, Alton High School coach Todd Haug said.
"The biggest thing we noticed with him aside from all of that is what he's got between his ears," Haug said. "He's very even-keeled, he's very passionate about what he's doing, he's a grinder, he's very competitive -- but yet he's not overly emotional. He just turned 18, but he's way ahead of the game."
Haug found out Hudson was drafted Tuesday afternoon as he was heading to the high school for a youth baseball camp. He said he had to pull over and soak in the news, admittedly a little teary eyed.
Haug coached Hudson all four years at Alton and said as Hudson's matured, he's used a new-found drive and focus to become more than a just a dominant pitcher.
"He's turned into a true leader at the high school level and moving forward -- I know he's going to get baptized in professional baseball," Haug said, "but if he adapts with the same manner he did in high school baseball, he'll be successful."
Cash Kruth is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @cashkruth. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.