This article is part of our Farm Futures series.
Our tour of the minor leagues continues this week with a trip to the Southern League to look at what some notable Double-A pitchers have been up to over the first seven weeks of the season. There are some well-known high-upside arms in this league, and there is also a seemingly never-ending pipeline of future back-end starters. The prospects are listed in approximate order of their value in dynasty leagues.
Josh Hader, LHP, Biloxi (Brewers): 0.79 ERA, 1.01 WHIP, 59:16 K:BB in 45.2 IP.
His pitch count has been between 83 and 89 pitches in all nine of his starts this season, with his innings ranging from four to six. The four-inning outings are the ones people are concerned about, but if he's through six innings without reaching 90 pitches, that's right in line with what most top pitching prospects are able to accomplish on their best nights. He has picked up right where he left off last year at Double-A and in the Arizona Fall League, showcasing a deadly mid-90s fastball with late sinking action and a plus curveball that plays perfectly off the heater.
The big question in the Brewers' think tank right now is whether or not Hader has what it takes to jump Triple-A and go straight to the big leagues. This decision is separate from the inevitable decision the team will need to make about whether or not he's a starter or a reliever long term. Given where the Brewers are as an