Old Mill's Hader Officially Signs With Orioles
Josh Hader will leave this weekend for the Gulf Coast league as he begins his professional baseball career.
Baltimore Orioles scout Dean Albany was checking out ballplayers in the Dominican Republic a lot this spring, but kept getting calls from Millersville about a lanky lefthander named Josh Hader.
"He pitched again, he did great," was the message, time and again, Albany said.
Finally, Albany attended a game at Old Mill High School and saw Hader pitch. He was so impressed that he left before the game was over, afraid that other teams might learn of their interest in Hader and pounce.
"I kind of stayed away, because I didn't want any red flags," he said. "But from the moment I saw him, I wanted to sign him."
The Orioles drafted Hader in the 19th round of the 2012 Major League Baseball First-Year Player Draft, and signed him to a contract this week.
Old Mill hosted a signing ceremony with Hader and Orioles officials Wednesday.
Hader will head to Sarasota, FL, this weekend to begin his career with the rookie-level Gulf Coast League Orioles.
"I was definitely happy they picked me up," Hader said. "It's been overwhelming, everything that's happened."
Hader drew attention from pro scouts during a senior year that saw him go 10-0 with a 0.39 ERA and 125 strikeouts. He pitched two no-hitters and two one-hitters as he helped lead the Patriots to a county title.
The Orioles got an extra preview of Hader during the all-star Brooks Robinson Game on Sunday at Camden Yards. Orioles manager Buck Showalter and general manager Dan Duquette were on hand.
"Buck liked him," Albany said.
The scout said Hader could benefit from having nearly all of the minor league affiliates located in the Baltimore area. Moreover, Albany said Hader will have a chance to work out with big league players during the offseason at Oriole Park.
That was good news for Josh's father, Tom.
"This was his dream, and it was my dream to follow his dream," he said.