Pitman High graduate Bradin Hagens is on the road to the big leagues and now he’s just one step away.
Hagens was promoted this past Friday to the Arizona Diamondbacks Triple-A affiliate, which is one step behind the major league.
He started his first game for the Reno Aces the following day on Saturday.
Hagens pitched five innings and gave up only two runs on six hits, but was tagged with the loss against the Sacramento River Cats in a 0-2 contest despite his efficient start.
The 25-year-old out of Turlock is not concerned with how he gets to the Big Show, but knows that when he does, he is there to stay.
“I hadn’t really thought about it in that way, to be so close to the big leagues, but it feels pretty surreal. I feel like it just makes it that much more fun and exciting,” said Hagens. “If I didn’t think or want to be a big leaguer I don’t think I should be playing. If I keep getting better I fully believe I can make it. The goal isn’t just to make it though, it is to stay for a long time.”
A former Pride teammate of Hagens has already shown that hard work can pay off in a big way. Back in 2005, Hagens shared pitching duties with now San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick.
“Playing with Kap was always fun. He is a great athlete and a role model; when you have someone like that around you it makes you want to be better,” said Hagens. “His success has been well deserved, he works hard and always has, and it’s the work put in that separates athletes.”
The right-hander who once played on the same team as Kaepernick has only gotten better over the course of his career and the numbers have proved it.
His earned-run-average was 1.80 during his junior year, but by the time his senior season had finished his ERA had dropped to 0.75.
After his two years at Merced College following a sensational career at Pitman, Hagens was picked up in the draft and since then he has embarked on a rocky road to where he is today — with help from his coaches, friends and family, of course.
“I have always had great support from my family; they always tell me how proud they are, and how happy they are for me,” Hagens said. “Plus, coming to play even when I am across the country is great.”
Hagens praised all of his coaches over the years to helping him get this far in his baseball career.
“The road has been anything but smooth,” said Hagens. “There have been times of being let down that tested my dedication and drive, but having the support system I have with family and friends it has always been short lived and I always feel even more blessed after. I have been blessed with great coaches as well.”
Hagens' next scheduled start is set for Thursday at Round Rock.