- Full name Nicholas Michael Hagadone
- Born 01/01/1986 in Sandpoint, ID
- Profile Ht.: 6'5" / Wt.: 230 / Bats: L / Throws: L
- School Washington
- Debut 09/01/2011
Drafted in the C-A round (55th overall) by the Boston Red Sox in 2007 (signed for $571,500).
View Draft ReportHagadone was a big-bodied lefthander with a low- to mid-80s fastball and solid breaking ball his first two seasons at Washington, and he entered the 2007 season as the Huskies' Friday starter despite having made just five career starts. He has dramatically increased his arm strength and velocity, as his physical ability and improved mechanics came together perfectly. Coach Ken Knudson moved Hagadone back to the bullpen after two starts, and his velocity jumped, as did his performance (1.88 ERA, 10 saves). Hagadone was throwing in the 90-93 mph range and had several outings when he hit 94-95 mph repeatedly. He also features a power slider that's at least an average pitch. While his delivery isn't textbook and his fastball tends to flatten out, he's deceptive, keeps the ball down (one home run allowed) and has some feel for pitching. His changeup also has average potential, and Hagadone likely will be given a chance to start in pro ball.
Organization Prospect Rankings
Hagadone has moved slowly for a college draft pick, but he finally made his big league debut last September, four years after the Red Sox made him a supplemental first-round pick. Tommy John surgery cost him most of 2008 and slowed him in 2009, though he recovered his arm strength quickly upon his return. The Indians sent Victor Martinez to Boston to acquire Hagadone, Justin Masterson and righthander Bryan Price at the 2009 trade deadline. Hagadone's fastball has excellent velocity, typically ranging from 93-96 mph and touching 98. His slider flashes as a plus pitch with late, short break and generates some swings and misses. He's still learning to vary its shape and to throw it to the back foot of righthanders. After walking 6.6 batters per nine innings in 2010, Hagadone cut sliced his walk rate to 2.8 in the minors last year. He started pitching exclusively out of the stretch, which helped him simplify his delivery and improve his fastball command. If he can maintain the improvements in his control, Hagadone can be a late-inning reliever in the majors. In spring training, he'll get the chance to open 2012 in Cleveland.
Hagadone flashed electric stuff for the Red Sox but missed almost the entire 2008 season after Tommy John surgery. He returned in 2009, then went to Cleveland in the midseason trade for Victor Martinez. Hagadone missed two weeks in 2010 with a shoulder strain and moved to the bullpen in late July, a move the Indians had planned prior to the season to manage his workload. Hagadone's fastball touched 98 mph in 2009, but his stuff wasn't quite as nasty last season. His fastball sat in the low 90s and topped out at 96. His slider is inconsistent but can be a putaway pitch. He also shows some feel for a changeup but operated from behind in the count so frequently in 2010 that he didn't use it often. Hagadone struggled to repeat his mechanics and averaged 6.6 walks per nine innings. While he's a good athlete, his arm action and the effort in his delivery concern some scouts. He went as many as five innings in just three of his starts, so he still has to prove his durability. The Indians added Hagadone to the 40-man roster and still plan to send him back to the rotation in 2011, possibly in Double-A. It wouldn't be a surprise to see him quickly transitioned to the bullpen, a role many scouts believe best suits him.
A 2007 sandwich pick of the Red Sox, Hagadone got off to a strong start in pro ball before blowing out his elbow in April 2008 and required Tommy John surgery. He returned to game action last June, showing an electric arm before Boston included him with Justin Masterson and another supplemental first-rounder, Bryan Price, in the Victor Martinez trade in July. Hagadone has outstanding arm strength for a lefthander, sitting at 93-94 mph with good life and touching 98. His slider is a plus pitch that flashes plus-plus with outstanding late bite. He also shows solid feel for a changeup, though he primarily pitches off his fastball/slider combination. Hagadone doesn't throw with much effort and his arm works well. He gets grounders at an above-average clip and didn't surrender a homer last year. Command is often the last thing to come back from Tommy John surgery, and Hagadone's wasn't strong even before he got hurt. Though he's athletic and able to pitch inside well, he's still learning to repeat his delivery and still has a tendency to rush toward the plate. His longest start in 2009 lasted three innings, so he'll have to prove his durability. The Indians plan to use Hagadone in the rotation this year at high Class A Kinston. He has the stuff to be a frontline starter, and he also could be a weapon as a power lefty reliever.
Boston's top pick in the 2007 draft (55th overall), Hagadone allowed five earned runs in his pro debut and none since. The bad news is that he blew out his elbow on an awkward delivery in his third start of 2008, leading to Tommy John surgery in May. Hagadone's stuff took off after the Red Sox got him to make his delivery more compact and stop rushing toward the plate. His fastball sat at 95-97 mph the day he got hurt, and his slider showed more power and depth. He quickly picked up a changeup that he throws with good arm speed, fade and sink. His work ethic leaves the Red Sox with no doubt that he'll regain his stuff. Hagadone's health is obviously the biggest concern, but he was throwing four months after the surgery and progressing so quickly that Boston had to slow him down. His command wasn't as advanced as his stuff, and command is often the last thing to come back after Tommy John surgery. Hagadone is on target to open 2009 with one of the Red Sox's Class A affiliates. He projects as either a frontline starter or a dynamic reliever, and Boston's needs will dictate his future. He might have earned a big league cameo at the end of 2008 had he not gotten hurt.
Hagadone has a nondescript fastball and performance in his first two years at Washington before suddenly blossoming in 2007, becoming Boston's top draft pick (55th overall) and signing for $571,500. He allowed five runs in his first pro game, then slammed the door and threw 23 straight shutout innings afterward, allowing just eight hits. A big-bodied lefthander, Hagadone has two plus pitches in a 92-94 mph fastball and a hard slider that ranks as the best in the system. He uses a high three-quarters arm slot to stay on top of his pitches and drive them down in the strike zone. The Red Sox love his makeup and believe he can handle any role they throw at him. Hagadone's changeup isn't as good as his other two pitches, though it has potential and he showed some feel for it at Lowell and in instructional league. His mechanics aren't picture-perfect and when they get out of whack, his stuff flattens out. The short-term plan is to send Hagadone to low Class A as a starter, allowing him to have success and build up some innings. Long term, Boston isn't sure whether it wants to deploy Hagadone as a possible No. 3 starter or as a power lefty reliever. If he moves to the bullpen, he could rocket to the majors quickly.
Top 100 Rankings
Best Tools List
- Rated Best Slider in the Cleveland Guardians in 2010
- Rated Best Fastball in the Cleveland Guardians in 2010
- Rated Best Slider in the Boston Red Sox in 2009
- Rated Best Slider in the Boston Red Sox in 2008
Background: Hagadone has moved slowly for a college draft pick, but he finally made his big league debut last September, four years after the Red Sox made him a supplemental first-round pick. Tommy John surgery cost him most of 2008 and slowed him in 2009, though he recovered his arm strength quickly upon his return. The Indians sent Victor Martinez to Boston to acquire Hagadone, Justin Masterson and righthander Bryan Price at the 2009 trade deadline. Scouting Report: Hagadone's fastball has excellent velocity, typically ranging from 93-96 mph and touching 98. His slider flashes as a plus pitch with late, short break and generates some swings and misses. He's still learning to vary its shape and to throw it to the back foot of righthanders. After walking 6.6 batters per nine innings in 2010, Hagadone cut sliced his walk rate to 2.8 in the minors last year. He started pitching exclusively out of the stretch, which helped him simplify his delivery and improve his fastball command. The Future: If he can maintain the improvements in his control, Hagadone can be a late-inning reliever. In spring training, he'll get the chance to open 2012 in Cleveland.