Indians No. 10 prospect Hagadone off to a great start
After struggling with his mechanics last season, left-hand pitcher Nick Hagadone is having a great start to the 2011 season. In five games with the Double-A Akron Aeros, Hagadone has not allowed an earned run, walked just one with 14 strikeouts over 10.2 innings in relief. Although it’s a small sample size, Hagadone worked hard during the offseason to make the adjustments and so far, it’s paying off.
“I think basically all the hard work that I put in on the offseason, fixing what was wrong last year,” Hagadone said on what contributes to his success this season. “I started out in instructs making a lot of mechanical adjustments and then just repetition, just doing what was right.”
“As far as weights and running, I didn’t do anything different. I basically did the same thing that I’ve done ever since I was drafted. But as far as mechanically, I just did a lot more drills to try to get muscle memory on the right mechanics.”
Hagadone was ranked by Baseball America as the Cleveland Indians 10th best prospect this year. Drafted in the 1st round (55th overall) supplemental by the Boston Red Sox in 2007, he was referred to as having “electric stuff.” After missing almost the entire 2008 season with Tommy John Surgery, Hagadone was traded midseason to the Cleveland Indians in the Victor Martinez deal in 2009.
In his first full season with the Indians, Hagadone spent 2010 with both High-A Kinston and Double-A Akron were he had a combined 3.37 ERA in 29 appearances (17 starts). He logged a career high 85.2 innings but struggled with his command –averaging 6.6 walks per nine innings.
“I think the hitters are more selective and when you make mistakes they punish you more,” Hagadone said on the biggest challenging between the levels. “In High-A you can get away with making bad pitches sometimes but in Double-A, they usually take advantage of you right away.”
The 25-year-old throws a fastball, slider and a changeup, “Mostly fastball and slider and then I mix in changeups whenever I feel it’s really necessary to do. But mostly I stick to fastball and slider.”
His fastball sits in the low to mid 90′s and although it’s dropped a few mph since surgery, he still has pretty good arm.
The Aeros currently lead the Eastern League Western Division by one game (over the Bowie Baysox) and have a lot of talented arms this season. Hagadone is one of five prospects in the Indians organization’s Top 25 (by Baseball America) in Double-A to start the year.
Hagadone has started the season from the ‘bullpen, a role that many scouts believe is the best fit for him. The lefty said he feels really good and is healthy this season.
“Just to improve the whole year,” Hagadone said on his goals for 2011. “To keep on getting better basically and just to be consistent.”
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