Nick Hagadone has been one of the Tribe’s most highly regarded prospects since he was acquired in the Victor Martinez trade two seasons ago. This season, the 6’ 5” southpaw has dominated the Eastern League, posting a 1.52 ERA in 12 appearances. In his 23-plus innings of work, Hagadone has struck out 25 batters and walked just eight.
Hagadone entered Wednesday night’s Aeros game against the Altoona Curve with the bases loaded and no outs in the sixth inning and the Aeros leading 8-5. He retired all three batters he faced, allowing only one of the inherited runners to score in a critical part of the game. The Aeros went on to record a 16-6 win over the Curve and pulled into a first-place tie in the Eastern League Western Division.
I spent some time with Nick Hagadone before Wednesday’s game and asked him some questions so we could learn more about him on and off the mound. Here are some highlights from our conversation:
Nick, you’ve gotten off to a great start this season. What’s been the key to your success?
“I’ve been really consistent so far in my outings and pretty happy with it. I’ve mostly been throwing fastballs and change-ups and overall they’ve both been consistent …some games one is better than the other, but overall I’ve been able to keep the ball down and throw my slider for strikes when I’ve needed to.”
What were you told by the Indians in the off season that you needed to work on to get to the big league level?
“I think the main thing was just to be consistent throughout my outings and to continue to get better and then we will see what happens.”
The Cleveland Indians have obviously gotten off to a great start. Do you follow what the big league club is doing?
“Yeah, definitely, I try to keep up with it as much as I can. It’s pretty fun to watch them win so many games and be so successful.”
What’s the atmosphere in the Aeros clubhouse been like this season coming off a championship campaign in 2010?
“It’s been good…we have a great group of guys. It’s been tough with so many rainouts and everything, but we’ve been getting along well. The bullpen gets along well and knows our jobs and gets them done.”
Give us an idea of who Nick Hagadone is off the field. What do you enjoy doing?
“I’m big into hanging out with family and friends I don’t get to see a lot, especially when it comes to the off-season. I’m actually starting to get into cooking. My wife is a really good cook so I’ve tried to learn from her and see where that goes.” (Nick met his wife in high school in the Seattle area.)
I see that you are on Twitter (@NHagadone). What has that experience been like for you?
“I just got on it in December and it’s a great way to connect with people and fans that you never would get to otherwise. It’s fun and I sometimes just put random thoughts in my head on my Twitter with my iPhone.”
I saw that you posted about the Cavs winning the NBA lottery on Twitter.
“Yeah, that was pretty huge for them to win the lottery and get the first pick and the fourth pick also, that was exciting.”
(Photo: Tony Lastoria/Indians Prospect Insider)