The Houston Astros continue to reward success in their minor league systems in the form of promotions. Coming over in a trade that sent pitcher Bud Norris to the Baltimore Orioles in 2012, left-handed pitcher Josh Hader has been promoted from the class-A Lancaster Jethawks to the Double-A Corpus Christi Hooks.
Pitching in an extremely hitter-friendly California League, Hader was promoted after having a 9-2 record with a very good 2.70 ERA. He has struck out 112 batters and walked only 38 in 103 innings.
Hader joins last year’s first overall pick Mark Appel in the Hooks’ rotation that has some serious depth. He was the gem in the trade with the Orioles and has Astros fans excited. In the California League, Hader held hitters to a .204 average with a 1.10 WHIP. His walk rate was below 10 percent, and his strikeout rate was above 25 percent.
Hader’s name was in the headlines few weeks ago when the Astros promoted Appel after a good start, even though Hader had better numbers in the same league. Many players were upset with the fact Hader was overlooked. The Astros have made a move that is a win-win. Hader, who was deserving, got his promotion, and the Astros’ front office showed the organization’s players that good play on the field will get you promoted.
In his promotion, Hader will now face hitting that is closer to major league-ready. Along with Appel, the Astros will get a chance to better evaluate exactly what Hader can offer to their team in the future. Pitching is at a premium in MLB and Hader has top-of-the-rotation stuff. If he continues to progress and gets closer to his very high ceiling, the Astros will be in a position to have a very young and talented rotation in the very near future.