William Jared Hughes
- Bats Right, Throws Right
- Height 6' 7", Weight 226 lb.
- School Long Beach State University
- High School Santa Margarita Catholic High School
- Debut September 7, 2011
- Final Game September 27, 2020
- Born July 4, 1985 in Stamford, CT USA
Jared Hughes made his big league debut in 2011.
Hughes was picked in the 16th round of the 2003 amateur draft by the Tampa Bay Devil Rays but opted for college. The tall right-hander went 8-3 with a 2.83 ERA as a sophomore; six of his fellow moundmates were drafted that summer. He had a 7-0, 1.62 summer for the Chatham Athletics of the Cape Cod League. Baseball America rated him as the league's #18 prospect, just ahead of Todd Frazier. In his junior year, Hughes was 8-4 with a 3.67 ERA as the club's #2 hurler after Drew Carpenter and ahead of Vance Worley. The Pittsburgh Pirates took him in the fourth round of the 2006 amateur draft. He was signed by scout Brad Cameron and joined the Williamsport Crosscutters, going 1-2 with a 2.74 ERA. He was promoted to the Hickory Crawdads but struggled at 5-4, 5.77 with 31 walks in 48 1/3 innings.
Jared was 8-9 with a 4.64 ERA for the 2007 Crawdads. He remained wild, leading the South Atlantic League with 27 wild pitches, tied with Daniel Bard for third-most in the minors. His 109 strikeouts led the Pirate farm system. Hughes split 2008 between the Lynchburg Hillcats (3-9, 4.60) and Altoona Curve (2-2, 4.94). Hughes only pitched 17 games for Altoona in 2009, going 1-6 with three saves and a 3.88 ERA while battling shoulder problems; he had a brief rehab stint with the GCL Pirates.
Back with Altoona the next season, Hughes was 12-8 with a 4.42 ERA and only 41 walks in 150 2/3 IP. He tied Brooks Brown, Tom Milone, Drew Naylor and Rudy Owens for second in the Eastern League in wins, two shy of Kyle Drabek. Hughes tied Kyle Weiland for 7th in the circuit with 120 strikeouts. He began 2011 back with the Curve and was 3-4 with a 4.09 ERA after 13 games. Promoted to the Indianapolis Indians, he moved to the bullpen and fared very well (3-1, 2.11 in 35 G).
That earned him a September call-up to the Pirates in 2011, who had just been hit by injuries to pitchers Paul Maholm and Kevin Correia. In his MLB debut on September 7th, he relieved Brian Burres in the 4th inning of a 5-4 win over the Houston Astros. Down 4-1 with men on the corners and two out, he retired Jimmy Paredes to end the 4th. In the 5th, he retired J.D. Martinez and Carlos Lee. Matt Downs singled, but Jason Michaels grounded back to Hughes. In the bottom of the 5th, he was yanked for pinch-hitter Brandon Wood. He went 0-1, 4.09 in 12 games that first year, pitching 11 innings.
Hughes was a regular in the Pirates' bullpen from 2012 to 2016, although he was shuttled between Pittsburgh and the minors in 2013. Always a middle reliever, he only picked up 3 saves during those years, 2 of them in 2012. He saw a lot of use, with a high of 76 appearances in 2015. He generally posted very good ERA's (except for 2013, hence his demotions to the minors that year), with a best of 1.96 in 2014, but also seasons of 2.28 (2015), 2.85 (2012) and 3.03 (2016). Like most middle relievers, he did not have many decisions, except for 2014 when he was 7-5. His high for innings pitched was 75 2/3 in 2012, but most seasons he was around 60 innings. In total, he appeared in 313 games for the Pirates, all in relief, a figure that put him in the team's all-time top 20 for games pitched. He also pitched once in the postseason, in the 2014 Wild Card Game against the San Francisco Giants, in which he gave up 2 runs in 1 inning of work.
Before the 2017 season, he signed as a free agent with the Milwaukee Brewers. He had another solid season with them in his familiar role, going 5-3, 3.02 with 1 save in 67 games, logging 59 2/3 innings. On December 26th of that year, he signed a two-year deal with the Cincinnati Reds worth $4.5 million, with an option for a third season. He had one of his best seasons in his first year for Cincinnati in 2018, going 4-3 with a career-high 7 saves in 72 games, with an outstanding ERA of 1.94. He limited opponents to just 57 hits in 78 2/3 innings. He then started 2019 with the Reds and was 3-4, 4.10 in 47 games when he was claimed off waivers by the Philadelphia Phillies on August 15th. he went 2-1, 3.91 in 25 games the rest of the way. In all, he was 5-5, 4.04 in 72 games, the ERA his highest since 2013.
The Phillies did not pick up his option following the 2019 season and he became a free agent. He signed with the Houston Astros on February 17, 2020, but was released a month later, just after the Coronavirus pandemic stopped spring training. He was left in limbo until June 30th, when the New York Mets signed him just before the second training camp started. He made the team and pitched 18 games, going 1-2, 4.84, although he had trouble with his control, issuing 14 walks in 22 1/3 innings. He joined a crowded free agent market after the season but did not find a team and on February 14, 2021, he announced that he was retiring after ten seasons. Overall, he had pitched in 542 games, all in relief, with a record of 30-26 with 12 saves and an ERA of 2.96 in 541 1/3 innings.
When he was active he was known for running to the mount in a full sprint when summoned into a game, something he had started doing when he was with Indianapolis in 2011.
- Jake Crouse: "Hughes' 10-year MLB 'sprint' comes to close", mlb.com, February 14, 2021.