Hader to represent Brewers at Futures Game

Hader to represent Brewers at Futures Game

MILWAUKEE -- Brewers starters Zach Davies, Matt Garza and Jimmy Nelson all pitched in the All-Star Futures Game on their way to the Major Leagues. Ditto big leaguers Jake Arrieta, Madison Bumgarner, Zack Greinke, Jose Fernandez, Felix Hernandez and Clayton Kershaw.

Left-hander Josh Hader will represent the Brewers at the 2016 SiriusXM All-Star Futures Game on July 10 at San Diego's Petco Park, hoping to join the long list of prospects who have ascended to the Major Leagues soon after participating in the event.

Hader, No. 54 on MLBPipeline.com's list of baseball's top prospects, is one of a dozen Top-100 players on the U.S. roster. The World Team, meanwhile, has players from 11 different countries and territories outside the U.S.

"To me, it's an honor, and then it's a place where [a player] gets to see what the other prospects in the game look like," said Brewers manager Craig Counsell. "For a player, I think it's great putting your eyes on guys we hear so much about and so much is written about. If anything else, you get to see them, because those guys have certainly heard about each other. You can't help but hear about each other nowadays."

The Brewers acquired Hader -- ranked the No. 4 Brewers prospect by MLBPipeline.com -- from the Astros last July 30 as part of a prospect package in exchange for Carlos Gomez and Mike Fiers. Now 22 and a lefty in the mold of White Sox ace Chris Sale, Hader began this season with 11 dominant starts for Double-A Biloxi, where he posted a 0.95 ERA and 73 strikeouts in 57 innings before a promotion to Triple-A Colorado Springs.

The finest of Hader's four Triple-A starts came Monday night in Round Rock, Texas, where he struck out eight batters in four scoreless innings.

"He's a young pitcher kind of finding his way," said Counsell, who got his first look at Hader in Spring Training. "There's things he can improve on. I think efficiency is [one]. He's always going to be asked to get his offspeed stuff better. That's what most young pitchers are asked to do.

"He's doing fine. He's on a really, really good path."

Former Brewers players Trevor Hoffman and Mark Loretta will serve as coaches for the U.S. squad. They both work for the host Padres.

Fantasy spin | Fred Zinkie (@FredZinkieMLB)

With a 1.87 ERA, a 1.13 WHIP and an 11.6 K/9 rate in the Minors this season, the left-handed Hader is likely nearing his big league debut. Although he has toed the rubber just four times in Triple-A, he could blow through that level and log second-half starts in a Brewers rotation that lacks reliable options. With a starting quintet that includes right-handers exclusively, Milwaukee would seemingly love to add a southpaw with swing-and-miss stuff. The 22-year-old Hader is not worth stashing in mixed leagues right now, but he should be given a fantasy roster spot upon his big league summons.

Adam McCalvy has covered the Brewers for MLB.com since 2001. Follow him on Twitter @AdamMcCalvy, like him on Facebook and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.