From BR Bullpen
John Rhyne Hughes Jr.
- Bats Left, Throws Left
- Height 6' 2", Weight 175 lb.
- School Pearl River Community College
- Debut April 24, 2010
 Biographical Information
First baseman Rhyne Hughes came to the majors in 2010.
Hughes was drafted by the Pittsburgh Pirates in the 50th round of the 2003 amateur draft. He hit .401 with 18 homers and 70 RBI in junior college and turned down the Pirates as draft-and-follow. He was then selected by the Tampa Bay Devil Rays in the eighth round of the 2004 amateur draft. Hughes was signed by scout Benny Latino and made his pro debut in 2005 with the Hudson Valley Renegades, hitting .279/.335/.407 with 18 doubles and 8 home runs, and homered in three straight games for the team from June 30th to July 2nd.
He began 2007 with the Vero Beach Devil Rays and rebounded from 2006 as he won the Florida State League batting crown by hitting .329/.392/.515. He was promoted to the Montgomery Biscuits at the end of July and hit .295/.378/.449 in 21 games before his season was ended when he was struck in the face with a pitch on August 25th. The pitch knocked out several of his teeth, but fortunately, Hughes broke no bones. He finished second to Ryan Royster in average by a Rays minor leaguer. He was third in the FSL in OBP and 4th in slugging. Baseball America named him the best defensive prospect at 1B in the FSL and the #20 overall prospect in the loop, right behind Eduardo Morlan and Jeff Samardzija. He did not make the FSL All-Star team; slugging percentage leader Josh Kreuzer was picked at first.
In 2008, Hughes hit .268/.356/.448 for Montgomery and led Southern League first basemen with 12 errors. He recovered in the fall to hit .394 and slug .697 in the Arizona Fall League. He led the circuit with 20 extra-base hits, tied for second with 12 doubles, was 5th in slugging and tied for 6th in average.
Rhyne began 2009 with Montgomery once again and produced at a .252/.340/.500 rate with 15 homers and 46 RBI in 58 games. Promoted to the Durham Bulls, he hit .313/.361/.533. He was then dealt to the Baltimore Orioles as the player to be named later in an exchange for veteran backstop Gregg Zaun. With the Norfolk Tides after the trade, he had a line of .264/.346/.444 in 20 games. Despite having left their system a month before the year ended, Hughes led all Rays farmhands with 149 strikeouts. He whiffed 171 times on the year, 6th in the affiliated minors. He also hit 25 homers and had 35 doubles for the '09 campaign.
The Picayune native began 2010 back with Norfolk and did very well, hitting .353/.421/.667 in his first 15 games. That earned him a ticket to the majors.