At just 18 years of age, Aberdeen IronBirds LHP Josh Hader is looking forward to proving himself on the mound for the ‘Birds.
After Hader displayed eye-catching numbers in his senior year at Old Mill, going 10-0 and posting a 0.39 ERA, he quickly became aware of all of the scouts scattered amongst the crowd. Hader says, “it was about half way through the season, I mean I didn’t really pay attention to the stats but just all the publicity and all that I was getting it kind of hit me and I’m actually doing something right and could be going far with it”.
Hader, a three-year varsity athlete, threw two no-hitters at Old Mill and can throw up to 89 mph.
Hader states, “My junior year I actually broke my ankle … so I felt like I needed to improve a lot and stick to hard work and all that and it obviously shown and I improved a lot. I mean speed, agility, everything just overall as a player mentally and physically”.
Confident in his decision to be drafted out of college Hader says, “I always wanted to play baseball even as a little kid wanted to go as far as I can with it and I had the opportunity so I took it. I mean I had a lot of help with my decision with Tony Saunders, he gave me a lot of help with what I should do and all that other stuff…helped me out a lot”.
Before arriving at Aberdeen, Hader played for the GCL where he went 2-0 with a 2.55 ERA.
Hader says his time playing for the GCL helped prepare him for Aberdeen, “Getting used to the level of baseball, it’s a lot harder and just got to stick to it. I mean GCL was definitely a grind…waking up that early and working in the heat and all that. Just got to stick through it and hard work paid off. Still got to work hard and get to the next level”.
Hader admits that there are added pressures playing with and against older players drafted out of college but says, “We’re all here doing the same thing, playing baseball…young or old just got to get the job done”.
Hader is enjoying the perks of being able to play in Maryland and says, “All of my friends are able to come watch me play and just a lot of support, a lot of support coming from all them” and adds that “it just felt good, just to know that I could stay by my family and friends, just to know that all my coaches and everybody can come watch the games, just a great feeling”.
In June, Hader was able to play in the 2012 Brooks Robinson All-Star Game at Camden Yards. Hader started the game for the the South and after the South beat the North, 4-3, Hader received the trophy for the team’s most valuable player.
With hard work, determination, and confidence Hader is setting his sights on one day returning to The Yard and commanding the mound once more.