BRADENTON, Fla. -- All Matt Hague has done in his professional career is hit. Hit, hit, hit. And so far during the Grapefruit League this spring, Hague has continued to swing a hot bat. So much in fact that Pirates Manager Clint Hurdle has a nickname for him, 'the hit collector.'
The 26-year-old was drafted by Pittsburgh in the 9th round of the 2008 draft after playing college ball at the University of Washington and Oklahoma State University. Throughout his minor league career, Hague has been a professional hitter, hitting for nothing less than a .293 clip over four seasons in the system.
Hague had a solid 2011 season in Triple-A, which earned him a spot on the Pirates 40-man roster in December. Hague led the International League in hits (165), games (141) and at-bats (534) while ranking third in doubles (37) and sixth in batting average (.309). He also set career highs in hits and doubles and became the first Indy player to lead the league in hits since Junior Noboa in 1989.