Minor League Report: Nick Hagadone
Left-hander impressing many in camp with stuff, makeup
FORT MYERS, Fla. -- With the Red Sox's Minor League games in Bradenton rained out Thursday, and intrasquad games scheduled in their place at the Sox's Minor League complex, left-hander Nick Hagadone took the mound in the Double-A game, opposed by Jon Lester, who was making a Minor League start to keep him on schedule for the big league team's second game of the regular season in Tokyo March 26.
"He looked good," Lester said of Hagadone. "That's the first time I've seen him. ... He looked good though. He threw a lot of strikes."
Hagadone, 22, the Sox's first pick (55th overall) in the 2007 First-Year Player Draft out of the University of Washington, started 10 games for Class A Lowell last season, compiling a record of 0-1 with a 1.85 ERA. The 6-foot-5, 230-pound lefty struck out 33 in 24 1/3 innings while walking eight.
"He's got great stuff [and] tremendous makeup," said Sox Minor League director Mike Hazen. "He works really hard."
Hagadone throws a mid-90s fastball, slider and changeup.
"The changeup is something that we've really tried to stress," Hazen said. "I don't think he threw it in college. He was basically a two-pitch guy in a bullpen role. He's got a power slider, but, certainly, at this level, he's going to need a changeup. We've stressed to him and asked him to really focus on throwing it. And that's part of it as well, wanting him to have some success along with that."
Hazen said the organization will be cautious targeting a number of innings it would like to see from Hagadone this season.
Opening eyes: Infielder Argenis Diaz continues to impress. The 21-year-old from Venezuela hit .279 with two home runs and 40 RBIs in 99 games for Class A Greenville last season, but makes more of an impression with his glove. He appeared in five Grapefruit League games for the Sox this season.
They're No. 1: The Red Sox left Fort Myers for Japan on Wednesday with two former No. 1 Draft picks. Second baseman Dustin Pedroia, the 2007 Rookie of the Year and the Sox's No. 1 pick in 2004, and 2005 No. 1 pick center fielder Jacoby Ellsbury, were among the contingent that will play exhibition games against the Hanshin Tigers and Yomiuri Giants before the season-opener against the A's on March 25 in Tokyo.
Class of '07: Brock Huntzinger, the Sox's third pick (114th overall) in the 2007 Draft out of Pendleton (Ind.) Heights High School, is in his first Spring Training after going 0-1 with a 2.57 ERA for the Gulf Coast Red Sox last season. The right-hander is 6-foot-3, 200 pounds.
"He's got a good arm and is just basically going through a normal Spring Training throwing progression, which he didn't have a chance to do last year since he signed so late," Minor League pitching coordinator Ralph Truel said. "But right now he's making progress every day and he's right on schedule."
What they're saying: "It was a very productive Spring Training for me. I got a lot of work in, and I feel like I'm ready to go for the season. ... It's exciting [going to Japan]. I've been over there once and I can't wait to go back." -- Jed Lowrie, on making the trip with the big league team to Japan after starting 2007 at Double-A Portland
Maureen Mullen is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.