James Richard Harden (born November 30, 1981) is a Canadian professional baseball pitcher for the Oakland Athletics of Major League Baseball.
Harden attended Claremont Secondary School in Victoria, British Columbia. He was drafted by the Seattle Mariners in the 38th round of the 1999 Major League Baseball Draft. He did not sign with the Mariners, but instead attended Central Arizona College, which he graduated from in 2001. While there he played baseball alongside future All-Star second baseman, and former teammate, Ian Kinsler.
He led all Division I Junior College pitchers with 127 strikeouts in 2001, and his ERA of 2.14 was the 5th lowest in the nation. In his first professional season as a 19 year old with the Vancouver Canadians in Single-A, Harden had a 2-4 record in 18 games (14 starts), a 3.39 ERA, allowed only 47 hits and struck out 100 batters in 74 innings.