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UPDATE (07/31/09): Nick Hagadone, along with Justin Masterson and Bryan Price, was traded to the Indians for Victor Martinez.
Some reports had Sox prospect Nick Hagadone as a possible 2008 call-up. He was looking dominant enough to handle major leaguers even though he had only been drafted the year before. He’s a big tall lefty with a sick power slider and a developing change-up, and was looking solid.
Like most of the Red Sox pitching prospects, Hagadone is young and is even more intriguing as a lefthanded pitcher. Hagadone just celebrated his 23rd birthday on New Year’s Day 2009.
Hagadone’s fastball tops out at 95, and he also throws a slider and changeup. He could be developed as a starter or closer based on the quality of his secondary pitches.
Nick Hagadone’s scouting report of himself (thanks to SoxProspects.com):
First of all, I like to throw a lot of fastballs. Doing that enables me to be aggressive and go after hitters and to also get ahead in the count. I feel like I have pretty good command of the pitch and it sits in the 92-93 mph range, topping out at 95. Right now, my slider is my best secondary pitch. I’ve been throwing it around 82-83 this summer and it has sharp downward bite. I use it as my out pitch to both lefties and righties, and I have the confidence to throw it for strikes when I am behind in the count. My change-up has been a big surprise for me this summer, I never really had to use it in the past but I have found out that the more I throw it the better it is getting – I keep on gaining confidence in it. I throw it at 80-81 mph and I have used it to effectively keep hitters off-balance so they can’t just sit on my fastball. One of the main things that I try to do on the mound is to be the aggressor. I always want to be ahead in the count, and I like to challenge hitters.
As a starter, Hagadone could be effective for the Red Sox when ace Josh Beckett becomes a free agent after the 2010 season. If Clay Buchholz and Hagadone emerge as solid options, the Sox may let Beckett go to the highest bidder, even if Tim Wakefield elects to retire.
Hagadone could also help in the bullpen, much like Justin Masterson in the 2008 season. Every team always could use an extra quality bullpen arm (especially a left-handed one), and Hagadone may be that guy in 2010.
Potential Career Year Numbers (as a SP): 210 IP, 170 K, 3.30 ERA, 1.30 WHIP, 15 Wins