July is right around the corner, signaling that we’re already about half way through the baseball season. With that comes the annual MLB All-Star weekend, which will last from July 7th-12th this year and features several events in addition to the Midsummer Classic. The Futures Game, a match up between the top prospects from the United States vs. the top prospects from the rest of the World, will be played on Sunday the 10th. Representatives from each organization are chosen, and this year the Brewers will send left-handed pitching prospect Josh Hader as their official emissary.
The Brewers acquired Hader as a part of the package during last year’s Carlos Gomez/Mike Fiers exchange with Houston. His stock has risen dramatically since then, as a dominant showing in the Arizona Fall League has carried over to the 2016 season. Hader began this year in AA Biloxi but after posting a 0.95 ERA and 73:19 K/BB ratio across 57.0 innings (11 starts), he was promoted to AAA Colorado Springs. In four starts and 20.0 innings there, Hader has posted a 4.50 ERA with 26 strikeouts and 11 walks.
Hader is currently ranked as the Brewers’ fourth-best prospect and the league’s #54 prospect overall according to MLB Pipeline. The 22 year old features a fastball that touches 98 MPH along with a plus slider and an improving changeup. His control still needs some polish, as he’s struggled with efficiency and high pitch counts this season. Hader comes at hitters from a low three-quarters arm slot that adds plenty of deception, but that high-effort delivery along with his slight frame (6’3” and 185 lbs) have lead some to peg him as a high-leverage reliever at the MLB level. Hader has been working to disprove that notion this year, however, and if it all continues to come together like it has thus far in 2016 he could be a legitimate mid-rotation threat.
The Futures Game will take place on the 10th starting at 6:00 PM CST on MLB Network.
Statistics courtesy of Fangraphs