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Aaron Michael Harang (born May 9, 1978 in San Diego, CA) is a right-handed starting pitcher for the Cincinnati Reds.
Harang graduated from Patrick Henry High School (San Diego, California) then went on to San Diego State University. He was first drafted by the Boston Red Sox in the 22nd round of the 1996 amateur draft, but did not sign with the team. After college, he was drafted by the Texas Rangers in 6th round of the 1999 draft and signed with them. In 2000, he was traded with minor leaguer Randy Cullen to the Oakland Athletics for Randy Velarde. He played sparingly with the Athletics, appearing in 23 games in 2002 and 2003, mostly as a starter. During the 2003 season, he was traded to the Reds along with Joe Valentine and minor leaguer Jeff Bruksch for Jose Guillen.
In 2004, he went 10-9 with a 4.83 ERA for the Reds.
In 2005, Harang led the team in victories (11), quality starts (19), innings pitched (211⅔) and strikeouts (163), all of which were career highs. He became the first Reds pitcher with 200 innings in a season since right-hander Elmer Dessens led the staff with 205 innings pitched in 2001. He received votes for NL Pitcher of the Month in May after going 3-1 with 1.93 ERA over five starts.
In the 2006 season, Harang pitched on Opening Day for the Reds on April 3 against the Chicago Cubs and allowed 9 runs, 6 earned and pitched 5 innings. In his third start of the season, 11 days after opening day, Harang pitched 7 shutout innings against the St. Louis Cardinals, who were starting 2005 Cy Young Award winner Chris Carpenter. Harang would give up 4 hits, get 4 strikeouts, and also had the only RBI of the game as the Reds won 1-0. Harang also pitched a complete game shutout against the Milwaukee Brewers on April 23, allowing five hits as the Reds won 11-0.
As of August 3, 2006, Harang's career record is 42-39 with a 4.31 ERA. He has 538 strikeouts and 208 walks over 676⅔ innings pitched.
In the 2006 season, Harang led the National League in complete games with six and strikeouts with 216, surpassing Jake Peavy's strikeout total of 215 in his final regular season game.
According to reds.com, Harang was only the ninth pitcher (twelfth time though) since 1960 to lead the National League in both wins and strikeouts. However he didn't receive any votes for the National League Cy Young Award (Brandon Webb won the award in 2006). All previous pitchers that led the National League in both categories have won the award.
On February 6, 2007, Harang signed a four-year 36.5 million dollar contract with the Cincinnati Reds.
On July 23, 2007, Harang threw ten innings for the Reds, (although throwing only 121 pitches) becoming the first Reds pitcher to do so since 1989. However, he received a no decision because the Reds did not win the game until the 12th inning.
Harang has had great success for the Cincinnati Reds. He hides the ball well during his stance, has a "creeping" fastball, a slider that breaks out of the zone and at least two other pitches (a curve and a changeup) that he regularly throws for strikes.
- Selected by the Boston Red Sox in the 22nd round of the free-agent draft - did not sign (June 4, 1996).
- Selected by the Texas Rangers in the 6th round of the free-agent draft (June 2, 1999 - signed June 7, 1999).
- Traded by the Texas Rangers with Ryan Cullen to the Oakland Athletics in exchange for Randy Velarde (November 17, 2000).
- Traded by the Oakland Athletics with Joe Valentine and Jeff Bruksch to the Cincinnati Reds in exchange for Jose Guillen (July 30, 2003).