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Josh Hader - SP MIL

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A 6'3 starter drafted in the 19th round of the 2012 draft, was part of the Mike Fiers/Carlos Gomez trade last year and was sent to Milwaukee.

Outside of Anderson Espinoza and Victor Robles I'm not sure there is another prospect that has improved their stock as much as Hader in 2015.

MLB.com ranks Hader as the #6 LHP in all of MiLB.. and has this to say about him..

For the second time since the start of 2013, Hader found himself in a new uniform following the non-waiver Trade Deadline in July, this time going from Houston to Milwaukee in the Carlos Gomez/Mike Fiers deal. After a strong showing at Double-A between the two clubs, the left-hander was the talk of the Arizona Fall League, as he paced the circuit in ERA en route to being named Pitcher of the Year.

Hader's stuff took a major step forward in the Fall League, where he was consistently 94-98 mph with his fastball and demonstrated improved feel for a plus slider, using it to induce whiffs from hitters on both sides of the plate. He has always featured some crossfire to his delivery, but he added even more deception by shifting to the first-base side of the rubber during the regular season, causing his fastball-slider pairing to play up consistently.

To remain a starter, Hader will need to continue developing his changeup and show he can pound the zone with greater frequency, as he still experiences bouts of wildness. At the same time, some scouts believe he could make an impact out of the bullpen as soon as 2016 thanks to his high-octane stuff and upper-level strikeout potential.

Here's a few excerpts from the Milwaukee Brewers top 10 chat over on baseball america

Carlos (Milwaukee, WI): You didn't drink the "Hader"ade, Tom? What are your thoughts on his future role - is his unorthodox delivery more suited to a reliever, or can he continue to start?
Tom Haudricourt: Josh Hader was strongly considered for the Top 10, believe me. He was very close. This is a guy who appears to be getting better. Earlier, scouts were saying he’d have to be a reliever, and that could be the role that gets him to the majors. But his stuff is so filthy, the Brewers would like to see if he can remain a starter. One way or the other, I think there’s a good chance we’ll see him in the majors in 2016.

Bill (Houston): How does Josh Hader not make the top 10? As an Astros fan, I thought he would be top 3 for the Brewers! isnt his electric stuff legit?

Tom Haudricourt: As noted before, Hader just missed the Top 10. If you look back, he has had some skeptics as to whether he’d be more than a loogie. Then he showed up in Arizona throwing 98. Who knows? He might be the next Aroldis Chapman.

Josh Hader (Arizona Fall League): Am I missing something? I feel like I earned a spot in the top 10, have you seen me pitch? What do I need to do to crack this list?
Tom Haudricourt: Josh, Josh, Josh. You have so many supporters asking this question for you! Believe me, you just missed. And when you consider how much better the Brewers’ farm system is from past years, that’s not a slight. You keep throwing as you are now in Arizona and things will take care of themselves. And mix in a milk shake, my lad!

From John Sickles on Minorleaugeball.com

4) Josh Hader, LHP, Grade B+/B: Age 21, another part of Gomez/Fiers trade, posted 3.03 ERA with 119/35 K/BB in 104 innings in Double-A, 87 hits. I must be the high guy on him but he looks like one of the top LHP in the game to me, track record backs it up and he is not a soft-tosser, hitting mid-90s. Command can still wobble but secondary pitches seem to be developing well. Another mid-rotation candidate or at worst a power reliever.

I drafted this guy in the 9th round of my 20-team, 40 round MiLB draft.. Prospect #189 off the board.. He's shooting up the rankings, better snag him while you can!

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If you squint there's some similarities between him and Chris Sale especially now that he's had the velocity bump.

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I think his delivery looks just like Madison Bumgarner. He's not quite that big but their deliveries are really, really similar.

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It's criminal that BA (or Haudricourt really) would leave him off the Crew's top 10. I agree with the OP that very few improved their stock last year more than Hader (maybe Snell or De Leon). Can also see some Sale or Bum in him and fully believe he's a starter.

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From 2080 baseball's Jeff Moore:

Had him as one of his top 10 non-roster Invitees to watch this spring.

Josh Hader, LHP, Milwaukee Brewers

Hader is the odds-on favorite to have the aforementioned story written about him at some point during the Brewers’ time in Maryvale, AZ this March, with the perfect mix of electric stuff, general proximity to the big leagues, and a bad major league roster in need of exciting stories. He won’t make Milwaukee’s roster because he’s just not ready right now, but there will be times in Cactus League games where he’ll look like he is. With a mix of three potentially major league-average pitches, and a fastball and curveball that are already there and should ascend significantly higher, Hader is going to impress anyone who hasn’t seen him in a while. I noted at the Arizona Fall League that if the Brewers were going to be a more competitive team this season, Hader could probably help them out of the bullpen at some point during the second half of the season. Of course, the Brewers aren’t going to be competitive, so there’s no reason to do that, and there’s also no reason not to keep developing him as a starter, until he proves otherwise incapable of doing so. There will be excitement surrounding Hader this March, but another season of building arm strength, improving his in-zone command, and trying to exceed his career-high 123 innings as a professional are all important developmental steps he still needs to take. After spring training, those steps will begin at Triple-A Colorado Springs.– Jeff Moore

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Incredibly underrated by most. A lefty who sits 93-95 can touch 98 and coming off 40 AA innings pitched with a 11.64K/9 and 2.56BB/9 since being traded to the Brewers.

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Keith Law did not include him in his new top 100 today...which I don't agree with.

Personally, I think he should be in the top 40-60 range. I'm pretty high on the guy and his proximity and team will allow him to prove himself pretty soon.

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Keith Law did not include him in his new top 100 today...which I don't agree with.

Personally, I think he should be in the top 40-60 range. I'm pretty high on the guy and his proximity and team will allow him to prove himself pretty soon.

People can't get over his projections from 2 years ago when he was viewed as a likely reliever. At this point I think he has done more than enough to show he's a legit starter going forward.

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Not in Yahoo

Which is totally weird given how many prospects they have added in the last week or so to the original prospect database. Some guys labeled SP like Ty Buttrey, Edwin Diaz, Tyler Danish, Dillon Overton, Spencer Turnbull etc etc. No Josh Hader.

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Keith Law did not include him in his new top 100 today...which I don't agree with.

Personally, I think he should be in the top 40-60 range. I'm pretty high on the guy and his proximity and team will allow him to prove himself pretty soon.

People can't get over his projections from 2 years ago when he was viewed as a likely reliever. At this point I think he has done more than enough to show he's a legit starter going forward.

Exactly.

People said the same thing about Matz who is now a top prospect SP projected in the Mets' rotation. I think by midseason he is a top 30 if not higher. Passed the AA test, K-rate over 1 per IP, solid K/BB ratio. Deceptive delivery, drawing comparisons to Sale, lefty...he's just got so many things going for him. The only knock I've seen is high walks as he tends to not always know where his slider/change up is going. His fastball has so much movement that it almost looks like a screwball.

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Really hope I get a chance to see him this spring.

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Not sure how to pronounce his name, but potential 80-grade nicknames with either "Mad Hader" (if it rhymes with ladder) or "Darth Hader" (if it rhymes with raider)

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If only he was a lights out closer you could play Darth Vader's theme when he walks out of the bullpen.

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I'm going to say, yes there is a chance he's up before July.. He faired extremely well in AA last year and likely to start in AAA.. If he comes out firing out of the gate, then I think there's a good chance he's up by the end of May.. He will be up this year for sure though.. he's close to ready.

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I'm going to say, yes there is a chance he's up before July.. He faired extremely well in AA last year and likely to start in AAA.. If he comes out firing out of the gate, then I think there's a good chance he's up by the end of May.. He will be up this year for sure though.. he's close to ready.

Start or out of the pen? I think Zach Davies and Jorge Lopez profile better as starters right now.

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I'm going to say, yes there is a chance he's up before July.. He faired extremely well in AA last year and likely to start in AAA.. If he comes out firing out of the gate, then I think there's a good chance he's up by the end of May.. He will be up this year for sure though.. he's close to ready.

Start or out of the pen? I think Zach Davies and Jorge Lopez profile better as starters right now.

It could be either honestly, I hope Milwaukee doesn't bring him up and stick him in the pen.. I'd prefer them just to leave him in AAA and keep him as a starter..

I would agree with you on Jorge Lopez.. He has a chance to be a very very good pitcher.. I wouldn't agree with you about Zach Davies though as him and Hader aren't on the same level IMO. Hader has some great bat missing stuff while Davies has just been ok (.256 average against in his career).. I don't think that shapes up too well to stick in an MLB rotation.

The Brewers will most likely give Davies a shot first though and give Hader more time to develop in AAA. This team isn't going to be very good so it'll be interesting to see how they handle things going forward.

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Crew fan here. Right now Davies is the 6th starter and Lopez is the 7th (as Coors stated), both in AAA. Hader is likely somewhere around the 9th/10th option. Very unlikely you see Hader this year, outside of maybe a Sept call-up...

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I'm going to say, yes there is a chance he's up before July.. He faired extremely well in AA last year and likely to start in AAA.. If he comes out firing out of the gate, then I think there's a good chance he's up by the end of May.. He will be up this year for sure though.. he's close to ready.

Start or out of the pen? I think Zach Davies and Jorge Lopez profile better as starters right now.

It could be either honestly, I hope Milwaukee doesn't bring him up and stick him in the pen.. I'd prefer them just to leave him in AAA and keep him as a starter..

I would agree with you on Jorge Lopez.. He has a chance to be a very very good pitcher.. I wouldn't agree with you about Zach Davies though as him and Hader aren't on the same level IMO. Hader has some great bat missing stuff while Davies has just been ok (.256 average against in his career).. I don't think that shapes up too well to stick in an MLB rotation.

The Brewers will most likely give Davies a shot first though and give Hader more time to develop in AAA. This team isn't going to be very good so it'll be interesting to see how they handle things going forward.

My .02. I'd rather own Hader in a dynasty format over both and I say that as a Lopez owner that traded away Hader. Again, that's for dynasty, not single season.

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I'm going to say, yes there is a chance he's up before July.. He faired extremely well in AA last year and likely to start in AAA.. If he comes out firing out of the gate, then I think there's a good chance he's up by the end of May.. He will be up this year for sure though.. he's close to ready.

Start or out of the pen? I think Zach Davies and Jorge Lopez profile better as starters right now.

It could be either honestly, I hope Milwaukee doesn't bring him up and stick him in the pen.. I'd prefer them just to leave him in AAA and keep him as a starter..

I would agree with you on Jorge Lopez.. He has a chance to be a very very good pitcher.. I wouldn't agree with you about Zach Davies though as him and Hader aren't on the same level IMO. Hader has some great bat missing stuff while Davies has just been ok (.256 average against in his career).. I don't think that shapes up too well to stick in an MLB rotation.

The Brewers will most likely give Davies a shot first though and give Hader more time to develop in AAA. This team isn't going to be very good so it'll be interesting to see how they handle things going forward.

My .02. I'd rather own Hader in a dynasty format over both and I say that as a Lopez owner that traded away Hader. Again, that's for dynasty, not single season.

Just finished my minor league draft prep for my NL only dynasty league where both Hader and Lopez are available (we aren't allowed to pickup prospects in season). Currently I have Lopez miles ahead of Hader on my personal list for the prospect (reserve round) portion of my draft. Since I highly value your opinion on these boards and you seem to be pretty knowledgeable about the matter, I was wondering if you wouldn't mind expanding on why you like Hader more than Lopez. Thanks in advance!

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I'm going to say, yes there is a chance he's up before July.. He faired extremely well in AA last year and likely to start in AAA.. If he comes out firing out of the gate, then I think there's a good chance he's up by the end of May.. He will be up this year for sure though.. he's close to ready.
Start or out of the pen? I think Zach Davies and Jorge Lopez profile better as starters right now.

It could be either honestly, I hope Milwaukee doesn't bring him up and stick him in the pen.. I'd prefer them just to leave him in AAA and keep him as a starter..

I would agree with you on Jorge Lopez.. He has a chance to be a very very good pitcher.. I wouldn't agree with you about Zach Davies though as him and Hader aren't on the same level IMO. Hader has some great bat missing stuff while Davies has just been ok (.256 average against in his career).. I don't think that shapes up too well to stick in an MLB rotation.

The Brewers will most likely give Davies a shot first though and give Hader more time to develop in AAA. This team isn't going to be very good so it'll be interesting to see how they handle things going forward.

My .02. I'd rather own Hader in a dynasty format over both and I say that as a Lopez owner that traded away Hader. Again, that's for dynasty, not single season.

Just finished my minor league draft prep for my NL only dynasty league where both Hader and Lopez are available (we aren't allowed to pickup prospects in season). Currently I have Lopez miles ahead of Hader on my personal list for the prospect (reserve round) portion of my draft. Since I highly value your opinion on these boards and you seem to be pretty knowledgeable about the matter, I was wondering if you wouldn't mind expanding on why you like Hader more than Lopez. Thanks in advance!


Not 96mnc, but my $0.02 is that Hader possesses several better underlying stats than Lopez at similar levels, and at a year younger to boot. Better K-rate and strikeout to walks ratio, lower hit rate. HR rate and walk rates are more or less comparable. The biggest ding on Hader is there's rumblings that he doesn't have the longevity to go deep into games and might be used as a reliever, but with the way the Brewers need arms (and quite frankly, his early demotion in ST kind of speaks to this), they'll definitely be stretching him out. Another good showing this year and I think we see him bumped up to AAA with a potential for a cup of coffee later in the season. They'll probably want to delay his service time as much as possible though.

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I'm going to say, yes there is a chance he's up before July.. He faired extremely well in AA last year and likely to start in AAA.. If he comes out firing out of the gate, then I think there's a good chance he's up by the end of May.. He will be up this year for sure though.. he's close to ready.

Start or out of the pen? I think Zach Davies and Jorge Lopez profile better as starters right now.

It could be either honestly, I hope Milwaukee doesn't bring him up and stick him in the pen.. I'd prefer them just to leave him in AAA and keep him as a starter..

I would agree with you on Jorge Lopez.. He has a chance to be a very very good pitcher.. I wouldn't agree with you about Zach Davies though as him and Hader aren't on the same level IMO. Hader has some great bat missing stuff while Davies has just been ok (.256 average against in his career).. I don't think that shapes up too well to stick in an MLB rotation.

The Brewers will most likely give Davies a shot first though and give Hader more time to develop in AAA. This team isn't going to be very good so it'll be interesting to see how they handle things going forward.

My .02. I'd rather own Hader in a dynasty format over both and I say that as a Lopez owner that traded away Hader. Again, that's for dynasty, not single season.

Just finished my minor league draft prep for my NL only dynasty league where both Hader and Lopez are available (we aren't allowed to pickup prospects in season). Currently I have Lopez miles ahead of Hader on my personal list for the prospect (reserve round) portion of my draft. Since I highly value your opinion on these boards and you seem to be pretty knowledgeable about the matter, I was wondering if you wouldn't mind expanding on why you like Hader more than Lopez. Thanks in advance!

Not 96mnc, but my $0.02 is that Hader possesses several better underlying stats than Lopez at similar levels, and at a year younger to boot. Better K-rate and strikeout to walks ratio, lower hit rate. HR rate and walk rates are more or less comparable. The biggest ding on Hader is there's rumblings that he doesn't have the longevity to go deep into games and might be used as a reliever, but with the way the Brewers need arms (and quite frankly, his early demotion in ST kind of speaks to this), they'll definitely be stretching him out. Another good showing this year and I think we see him bumped up to AAA with a potential for a cup of coffee later in the season. They'll probably want to delay his service time as much as possible though.

Skoodog nailed it.

Also, I prefer to swing for the fences with my prospects. To me Hader has higher upside. But he does have more risk.

Lopez has the much higher floor because at worst he's a SP 4 at the MLB level. Barring a jump forward I can't see him being more than a SP 3

At worst Hader is in the bullpen. At best Hader could be a #2 but that's a much longer shot.

Hey, I like Lopez and he's easily the safer play. If I felt really strongly about it I'd say so but they are close in my book. Caveat - I haven't seen either of them pitch yet.

Sickels thoughts on the two of them. :

2) Jorge Lopez, RHP, Grade B+: Age 22, breakout season in Double-A, 12-5, 2.26 with 137/52 K/BB in 143 innings, 105 hits. Tremendous skill growth compared to the projectable raw guy he was four years ago. Throws three pitches for strikes, number three starter type and maybe more eventually.

5) Josh Hader, LHP, Grade B+/B: Age 21, another part of Gomez/Fiers trade, posted 3.03 ERA with 119/35 K/BB in 104 innings in Double-A, 87 hits. I must be the high guy on him but he looks like one of the top LHP in the game to me, track record backs it up and he is not a soft-tosser, hitting mid-90s. Command can still wobble but secondary pitches seem to be developing well. Another mid-rotation candidate or at worst a power reliever.

BPs thought on Hader who was unranked by them:

Josh Hader, LHP – Acquired in the Carlos Gomez trade, all Hader has done over the last two years is pitch effectively while missing bats, and all that’s come from it is questions about whether he can do it as a starting pitcher. His four-seamer will get up to 98 MPH with life; sitting comfortably 91-93, and he’ll also show a solid-average curveball and average change. His delivery scares the heck out of many, however, as he’s low three-quarters with effort, and the command isn’t anything to write home about. The Chris Sale comps are fun, but the more likely landing spot for Hader is as a high-leverage reliever who can get both left and right-handed hitters out, but you can’t blame the Brewers for seeing if he can start.

And in closing, a thought from Baseball America on Hader who wasn't in their top 10 (Lopez was #2):

Carlos (Milwaukee, WI): You didn't drink the "Hader"ade, Tom? What are your thoughts on his future role - is his unorthodox delivery more suited to a reliever, or can he continue to start?

Tom Haudricourt: Josh Hader was strongly considered for the Top 10, believe me. He was very close. This is a guy who appears to be getting better. Earlier, scouts were saying he’d have to be a reliever, and that could be the role that gets him to the majors. But his stuff is so filthy, the Brewers would like to see if he can remain a starter. One way or the other, I think there’s a good chance we’ll see him in the majors in 2016.

Bill (Houston): How does Josh Hader not make the top 10? As an Astros fan, I thought he would be top 3 for the Brewers! isnt his electric stuff legit?

Tom Haudricourt: As noted before, Hader just missed the Top 10. If you look back, he has had some skeptics as to whether he’d be more than a loogie. Then he showed up in Arizona throwing 98. Who knows? He might be the next Aroldis Chapman.

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Thanks for the thorough response. I'm a BA, with BP sprinkled in, guy when it comes to prospects, so you can see why I had Lopez higher.

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