Before the 2010 season started, Baseball America named Nick Hagadone the third-best prospect in the Cleveland Indians system. A dominating presence on the mound at 6’5″, 230-lbs and a left-hander, it made perfect sense for the publication to view him in such a fashion.
He was arguably the player with the most upside acquired from Boston in last year’s Victor Martinez deal alongside Justin Masterson and current teammate Bryan Price. The Red Sox clearly viewed him as a top prospect earlier as well, selecting him as the 55th overall pick (supplemental first round) in the June 2007 Draft after a successful career at the University of Washington.
Unfortunately, June 2008 Tommy John surgery on his left elbow limited his development process. He resumed pitching last season but remained on a strict pitch count up through this year as well. Struggling to find his consistency in his few innings as a starter, it then made a ton of sense for the Indians to decide to shift Hagadone into a more natural role as a reliever last month.