He certainly wouldn't be the first pitcher who got it together at age 27.
Nor would he be the first pitcher whose ERA numbers are a mirage.
I've already posted this on another thread, but here's a synopsis:
While Hudson can throw pitches bats miss, he's not a true K pitcher. Without that, he'll have to be as lucky in 2005 as he was in 2004 for BA on Balls in Play. Hudson't OBP was over 100 points higher than his actual BA allowed. Basically, that OBP Against is going to end up somewhere near .350-.360 in 2005 unless Hudson can get signficantly lucky
Add all those additional baserunners to the 17.4 P/IP Hudson posted in 2004 and you get a Kaz Ishii clone who'll only be able to stay out of the high 4.00/low 5.00 ERA range if he can keep the ball in the park. Problem is, Hudson's a fly ball pitcher. So good luck to him there. But even if he does, the practice of throwing so many pitches means that he'll average even less than the 5.1 IP per start he put up this season.
And no, Hudson did not improve as the year went on. When he hit the Show (forget about the 19 IP in AAA- can't gain any knowledge from that), his BB rate nearly doubled. His H/IP rate was a BABIP mirage as his K rate dropped by almost 2.5 per 9 IP from AA (where he played against MUCH younger competition).
Earned Run Averages don't hide from those peripherals for long. For Hudson to "break out", he'll either have to K hitters at a higher rate and/or allow far fewer Walks while improving his GB/FB rate (a .64 that would shock even Todd Van Poppel).
In short, for Hudson to repeat that ERA, he'll have to be a different pitcher next year. I'm not holding my breath.