6-3/160 is accurate; skinny, lanky frame; lots of room for added strength; long levers; low 3/4 slot; still gets some plane; loose arm; plus arm strength; lands closed; rocks back, pauses, then fires; good momentum to the plate; has trouble repeating; close to max effort; command profile is fringy; slow to the plate; 1.45-1.52 range.
Lancaster JetHawks (High A, Astros)
417, 4/22, 5/13
50; late innings reliever
Plus fastball; sits mostly 90-93; good deception; ball gets on the hitter quickly; ability to paint the outside corner to LHH and RHH; pumps up the velo in big spots; touched 94 a couple times in his latest start; cuts it at 90-91; can lose his command randomly (trouble repeating); fastball can play down; loses a little velo from the stretch; added strength is a must.
Flashed plus; inconsistent offering; multiple breaking ball looks; 3/4 arm slot creates natural slurvy offering that can feature two-plane break; can turn into a horizontal sweeper; loopy and loses bite; can give LHH fits because the pitch starts behind them; can freeze them on the inside corner or for chase away; good pitch with the proper mechanics; repeat-ability will be his biggest hurdle with this pitch, but given his age and present ability I think it will become a plus offering.
Also flashed; snaps wrist and creates dive; like the arm speed and deception; velo range works too close to the fastball; would like to see better separation; used it as his put away pitch in latest start; kept it down for the most part; seemed comfortable with it.
Hader is an intriguing prospect; he's young for the level and putting up very good numbers in an offensive environment. Hitters are only batting .188 off of him to date, which is tied for 1st in the Cal League among pitchers with more than 70 IP. There's no doubting the stuff; all three pitches flash plus and can work plus for innings at a time. The part where he can trip up is his ability to repeat his difficult delivery. There is a lot of moving parts, and he does a good job keeping it together and producing momentum towards the plate. Adding strength will definitely be a necessity if he's going to last as a starter, as his velocity dipped a little as the games progressed. Perfect world scenario, he's an innings-eating #3/4 starter. Realistically, I can see his velocity and secondary offerings play up in a relief role, coming in vs. tough lefties and also being able to handle righties. If Hader is a reliever, he can make a contribution by late 2015 with 2016 as the most likely time frame.