Every so often, a pitcher comes along that makes baseball fans re-think what players are capable of when they take the field. This season, Josh Hader has become that pitcher. The Milwaukee Brewers reliever, always full of potential, has put it all together to start the 2018 season. In fact, it's not a stretch to say he's been the most dominant pitcher in all of baseball. So if the season ended today, would he have a shot at taking home the National League Cy Young Award?

Hader's insane start

The Brewers knew what they had when they stuck Hader in the bullpen to start the season. Perhaps even they didn't know just how good he would be, though.

He's striking out batters like a fry cook flips burgers. As of Saturday (May 19), he's faced 90 batters and struck out 53 of them - that's over half. For what it's worth, the 24-year-old struck out 60 batters last season in nearly double the work he's seen so far this year, so something is clearly different this season.

He has been worth exactly one Win Above Replacement this season according to Baseball-Reference, meaning he would be worth four Wins Above Replacement should he keep up this pace throughout the season. For a team seeking an NL Central crown or Wild Card playoff berth, that value can't be overstated. Even so, he does have a slight bugaboo when it comes to walks and home runs this season, surrendering six and two, respectively. Additionally, Hader's path to a Cy Young would be logically blocked by another pitcher on the Brewers.

Cy Young longshot

Even though Hader is striking out an insane amount of batters, he doesn't even have the highest WAR on the team. That title belongs to another reliever, Jeremy Jeffress, who is quietly having an even better season. In 23 appearances, he's given up just one earned run, good for an ERA of 0.38. Additionally, he's been worth 1.5 WAR, good for first place among Brewers pitchers.

Even if Cy Young voters fell in love with the strikeout artist, the road to an award would be a long one to travel - it's simply not an award for relievers anymore, hence why they have their own award now. The last time a reliever won the award was in 2003 when Eric Gagne saved 55 games for the Los Angeles Dodgers. His WAR for the year was 3.6, but that was before the sabermetrics movement had a firm hold of the sport. So enjoy Hader's season for what it is: An incredible show of dominance that won't result in the biggest hardware in baseball sitting on his mantle.