Arlington, Texas – The Texas Rangers announced today that the club has signed free agent outfielder Kyle Hudson to a 2012 minor league contract that includes an invitation to major league spring training camp.

Hudson, 25, advanced from the Carolina League to the majors in the Baltimore Orioles organization in 2011. The left-handed batter combined for a .296 (125-493) average with 23 RBI and 41 stolen bases in 119 games with Frederick (High A), Bowie (AA), and Norfolk (AAA) before being promoted to the Orioles on September 1. Hudson was 4-for-28 (.143) with 2 RBI and 2 steals in 14 games with Baltimore in September, starting 7 games in right and one in center. He was designated for assignment by the Orioles on January 13 and released on January 19.

Hudson opened the season at Frederick, hitting .279 with 8 steals in 23 games to earn a promotion to Bowie on May 4. He was assigned to Norfolk on May 20, returned to Bowie on June 29, and went back to Rochester on July 17 for the rest of the minor league season. Overall, he batted .308 with 10 RBI and 7 steals in 28 games at Bowie and .297 with 11 RBI and 26 steals at Norfolk. His composite .375 on-base percentage was the highest in the Baltimore minor league system in 2011.

The Orioles’ 4th round selection in the 2008 First Year Player Draft out of the University of Illinois, Hudson has 119 stolen bases in his 4 minor league seasons. He led the Carolina League with 40 steals at Frederick in 2010.

With the signing, the Rangers have 17 non-roster invitees to major league spring training. There are currently 39 players on the club’s 40-man roster.

RON WASHINGTON TO RECEIVE NEGRO LEAGUES BASEBALL MUSEUM LEGACY AWARD
AS 2011 A.L. MANAGER OF THE YEAR TONIGHT IN KANSAS CITY

Rangers manager Ron Washington will be honored tonight by the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum with the Charles Isham “C. I.” Taylor Award as the 2011 American League Manager of the Year.

The NLBM will honor Washington at its Legacy Awards event tonight at the Gem Theater in Kansas City, Missouri. Proceeds from the Legacy Awards benefit the NLBM. The event is also part of the museum’s yearlong Buck O’Neil Centennial Celebration. The Legacy Awards, established by the NLBM in 2000, recognizes the best Major League baseball players, managers, and executives, with awards given in the name, and spirit, of Negro Leagues legends such as Oscar Charleston, Josh Gibson, Cool Papa Bell, and O’Neil. The Legacy Awards honor both on- and off-the-field achievement and are presented to recipients from both the N.L. and A.L. The Legacy Award for 2011 National League Manager of the Year will go to Arizona’s Kirk Gibson.