Cardinals pitchers and Carpool buddies Ryan Helsley, Dakota Hudson

On today's spring training parking lot chat we grabbed a couple of rising pitchers, Dakota Hudson and Ryan Helsley

Chris Hrabe
February 20, 2019 - 6:18 pm

JUPITER, Fla (KMOX) - Dakota Hudson and Ryan Helsley are more than just teammates in Jupiter, they're roommates. Sharing living space and also transportation to and from Roger Dean Chevrolet Stadium everyday.

The Redbird righthanders, both 24-years-old, with birthdays just a few months apart, met up before spring training, and hit the open road for south Florida and St. Louis Cardinals big league camp.

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Hudson left from Kansas City, a 21 hour drive looming, and picked up Helsley about a third of the way in.

"We actually rode together, we met in Memphis. We carpooled, made it a little better." Helsley said.

"But as soon as I get away from here," Hudson laughed as he gestured from the parking lot back to the Cardinals' complex, "I don't see Helsley the rest of the day."

Hudson and Helsley have more in common than just their age and their living/carpool arrangements in Jupiter. Both pitchers made lightning fast ascents through the Cardinals organization.

In 2016, after being selected in the first round out of Mississippi State by the Cardinals, Hudson appeared in one game in the GCL, then made eight starts for the Advanced-A Palm Beach Cardinals. 

Helsley was a fifth round pick in 2015, and after making 11 appearances in rookie ball with Johnson City, he spent 2016 in Single-A Peoria.

Both pitchers eventually made it all the way to Memphis in 2017, and MLB camp last spring.

Hudson dazzled in the PCL with the Memphis Redbirds, and was called up in late July, appearing in 26 games for the Cardinals in the big leagues, posting a 4-1 record over 27.1 IP. 

Helsley struggled with injuries last season, battling a shoulder issue that shortened his season, but is healthy and a fill participant in camp this year, after being placed on the 40-man roster over the offseason by the club.

Cardinals fans should expect to see a lot of Hudson and Helsley in the future, but probably not as much as the roommates and carpool pals will see of each other.

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