Flashback to July 30, 2015. The day that the Milwaukee Brewers traded Carlos Gomez. Pitcher Mike Fiers and Gomez were traded to the Houston Astros for star prospect Brett Phillips, power hitter Domingo Santana and power pitcher Adrian Houser. The last guy mentioned in most, if not all, articles on this trade listed prospect Josh Hader as the last player in that trade.
About 10 months after that trade though, Hader has quickly taken shape to be the prize. For the Brewers Double-A affiliate, the Biloxi Shuckers, Hader has thrown for 51 innings and has only given up five earned runs. He has also stuck out a blistering 65 batters, which gives him the Double-A lead across all leagues.
One problem that often faces young pitchers is the fact they make mistakes. Leave hanging pitch, miss a spot and allow home runs. The 22-year-old Hader, though, has only allowed one long ball in all of his 51 innings pitched.
If Hader keeps at this incredible pace, he is projecting to allow only 95 hits, 14 earned runs and three home runs. Hader is also projecting to walk 48 and strike out a whopping 183 batters over 143 innings pitched.
The only problem so far that anyone can pick out of Hader’s season thus far is how deep he is able to pitch into games. He has only gotten to six innings three times so far, while he often only pitches four or five innings. This problem can be attributed to the fact he is a pure strikeout pitcher.
For example, in a game on April 24, he only pitched four innings, but he struck out eight. The Brewers would be lucky if their starter struck out eight in a full nine innings. Hader’s low amount of innings per outing can be attributed to the fact he is unhittable to many batters at this level so far this season. The easy ground balls and pop-ups will come.
Looking back again to the trade that occurred not even a year ago, the Brewers come out as the clear and away winners. You could even consider them robbers for all that they took away from the Astros, with the little the Brewers gave back.
Yes, Gomez came up as a big asset for the Astros down the stretch and yes Fiers threw a no-hitter for them, but those were only blips on the screen. Gomez is currently batting a .186/.245/.248 line while Fiers has an ERA over four and has already allowed ten home runs. While those are not horrible stats for Fiers, they aren’t worth what the Astros gave to the Brewers.
The Brewers got Brett Phillips, the outfielder star of the future, Domingo Santana, who is a power hitter coming back from the DL, and Adrian Houser, who is still a developing pitcher.
Oh, and they got that Josh Hader guy.
*Image courtesy of milb.com
*All stats from mlb.com and milb.com