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Luke Trevor Hughes

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[edit] Biographical Information

Luke Hughes hit a home run in his first major league at-bat for the Minnesota Twins in 2010. He is a veteran of the Australian national team.

In 2001-2002, Hughes was the All-Star second baseman in the International Baseball League of Australia.

Hughes was signed by scout Howard Norsetter for the Minnesota Twins in 2002. He debuted professionally a year later with the GCL Twins, reaching base safely in 19 straight games at one point. He hit .305/.361/.426 and made the Gulf Coast League All-Star team at third base ahead of Eric Duncan. He was 10th in the GCL in average. During the 2003 Claxton Shield tournament, Hughes hit .429 to help the Queensland Rams to the title.

In 2004, Luke batted .284/.338/.418 for the Elizabethton Twins while moving to second base. During the 2004 Claxton Shield, Hughes won the Gold Glove Award.

Hughes began 2005 with the Beloit Snappers, batting .257/.319/.390 in 72 games before being promoted to the Fort Myers Miracle, where he struggled (.202/.222/.262 in 23 games). The second baseman for the Australian team in the 2005 Baseball World Cup, he went just 1 for 15 with 2 walks and five strikeouts.

Hughes returned to the Australian team for the 2006 World Baseball Classic, going 0 for 3 with a walk, strikeout and time hit by pitch. The 21-year-old again fared poorly for the Miracle, hitting .231/.287/.312 in 95 games, primarily back at third base. In the 2006 Intercontinental Cup, the Australian batted .455/.618/.773 with 8 runs, 10 walks and 7 RBI. In 5 games at second and four at third, he was error-free. He just missed the top five for the tourney in average, 3 points behind fifth-place Dirk van 't Klooster.

In 2007, Hughes hit .283/.356/.438 in 92 games for the New Britain Rock Cats and was a mid-season Eastern League All-Star.

Hughes hit .333/.359/.583 for Australia in the 2007 Baseball World Cup. Despite batting 9th, he drove in 8 runs, one behind team leader Justin Huber. Hughes tied a game against the Dutch national team with a 9th-inning sacrifice fly against Michiel van Kampen. Against the Venezuelan national team, Luke cracked a 3-run homer in the bottom of the 11th to win the game. He broke open a tie game against Team Canada in the top of the 9th with a double and the go-ahead run. America's Jayson Nix beat him out for All-Star honors at second base in the tournament.

Hughes batted .522/.577/.652 in the 2008 Final Olympic Qualification Tournament with 8 RBI in 7 games. He was third in the event in average, trailing Joo-chan Kim and Jimmy Van Ostrand, and he tied Matt Rogelstad, Van Ostrand, Dae-ho Lee and Kuo-Hui Lo for second in RBI, trailing only Seung-yeop Lee. He was one of their best players in their losses to Mexico and Taiwan as 4-3 Australia failed to advance to the 2008 Olympics.

In the 2008 Futures Game, Hughes started at third base for the World team, hitting 5th. He flew out against Clayton Richard in the first and struck out against Jess Todd in the 4th before being replaced by Juan Francisco. He was the only Australian in that Futures Game.

In the 2008 season, Hughes hit .319/.385/.551 with 15 homers in 70 games for New Britain and .283/.325/.453 in 29 games in his AAA debut with the Rochester Red Wings. He then starred in the 2009 Claxton Shield, being named MVP of the finals. Hughes was with Australia for the 2009 World Baseball Classic, going 3 for 12 with 3 runs, 3 RBI, a walk, double and a home run as their starting third baseman. He hit a 2-run homer off Oliver Perez to start the 17-7 win over Mexico. Against Cuba, he scored the first two runs; in the 4th inning, he doubled off Aroldis Chapman and came in on a Ben Risinger hit to tie it at one. Then in the 6th inning, he drew a leadoff walk from Norberto González and came home on a Justin Huber hit to tie it at two. Cuba went on to win, though. His 2009 season was cut short by injury, as he was limited to 97 games and had to make a rehabilitation stint with the GCL Twins. He started the season at Rochester, but also spent time back with New Britain, where he hit .250 with limited power in 56 games; he was better with Rochester, putting up a line of .249/.344/.481 in 37 games.

Luke Hughes was called up to Minnesota in late April 2010, after hitting .267 with 8 doubles in 12 games at Rochester. Inserted in the line-up as the starting third baseman on April 28, he homered off Max Scherzer of the Detroit Tigers in his first major league at-bat in an 11 - 6 loss. He was the first Twin to homer in his first at-bat since Andre David in 1984, and the 5th overall.

Sources: 2004-2007 Baseball Almanacs, IBAF website, World Baseball Classic website, 2007 Twins Media Guide, Minor League Baseball website

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