When Carlos Gomez and Mike Fiers were traded to the Houston Astros, much of the attention was focused on the outfielders, Brett Phillips and Domingo Santana. But that wasn’t all they got. One of the most underrated parts of the trade was left handed pitching prospects, Josh Hader. While Hader wasn’t a top pick when he was drafted, here is a look at why he has the skills to be the Brewers next left handed starter.
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Though this is the second time that he has been moved, (he was also a key piece in a trade with Baltimore for Bud Norris) Hader has shined in the minor leagues. Overall through parts of four minor league seasons, Hader has gone 20-12 with a 2.97 ERA while averaging 9.7 strike outs per nine innings. Last season, he greatly impressed as he was named California League Pitcher of the Year as he compiled a 9-2 record with a 2.71 ERA.
This year in the Texas League, Hader has continued to show that he is a pitcher on the rise. In 17 appearances (10 starts) he has gone 3-3 with a 3.17 ERA. Tonight he will join the Shuckers’ rotation to make his first start on the exciting team.
MLB.com ranks the 21-year-old Hader as the 14th best prospect in the organization. With a three-quarters delivery and an every improving fastball, they have drawn comparisons to Chris Sale. The biggest area of concern for Hader however is improving his off-speed pitches as he continues to progress.
There are plenty of strong arms in the system that are highly ranked, but as a high ranking lefty, Hader could set himself apart soon very soon. Yes pitchers like Kodi Medeiros and Nathan Kirby look to have a big future in Milwaukee, but getting a left handed arm like Hader that is in the advanced minor leagues could finally give the Brewers a left-handed option in the rotation that they have sorely lacked. The trade of Carlos Gomez was all about the future, and while Santana and Philips look to be major future contributors Hader’s progression is certainly something to watch.