The Hits Keep on Coming for Hague

BRADENTON, Fla. — It may be infielder Matt Hague’s first big league camp, but he has quickly made  quite an impression already this spring training. In Monday night’s 10-3 win over the Baltimore Oriole’s in Sarasota, Fla., Hague went 3-for-4 with a run, homer and three RBI batting cleanup as the Bucs designated hitter.

Hague’s two-run bomb came in the 3rd inning off O’s reliever Kevin Gregg on an 0-1 pitch, sailing over the wall in left-center field.

“It was exciting,” Hague said. “I had a lot of fun.”

After hitting the homer, Hague, 26, was greeted in the dugout by teammate Garrett Jones. Hague said he was one of the guys he’s learning the most from during camp.

“We was just kind of talking about what I saw,” Hague said. “We were talking about the approach, how you attack that guy. I look up to him. I’ve learned a lot from him this spring. He’s easy to talk to.”

Hague has a chance of breaking camp with the Pirates and has been working hard this off-season on getting work in at third base. Hague, who was drafted as a third baseman in the 9th round of the 2008 draft, started playing first base regularly in 2009. So far this spring, Hague has made one appearance as a pinch-hitter and two as the teams DH.

“I told him not to give away his gloves,” Pirates Manager Clint Hurdle said. “We’re going to get him out on the field here sooner than later, but we’re just making sure we feed him some at-bats early.”

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). Hague 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.

Hurdle’s nickname for Hague? ‘The hit collector.’ And so far this spring, he’s proving to do just that.

“He’s finding grass. He hit one over the wall,” Hurdle said. “So far as advertised. We’ll just continue to get him work. We’ll get him on both corners as well. He’s been a professional hitter throughout his career.”

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  • http://twitter.com/daveplavi David A Plavi

    #FreeMattHague!

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_6KEYHS3XWH74U3LRIHGWL7XPBA Nate

    He looks great at the plate.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_OGCKUSO5MA5VUCJHW2YSJ2K3TM Bob

    I really like this kid.  I know he doesn’t have prototypical power for a corner infielder but let’s be honest, do we really have any prototypical players outside of Cutch?

    I would really like to see him get a chance, may not hit for power but consistently puts the ball in play and I like his attitude.  

    • mikez09

      Keith Hernandez didn’t have prototypical power for a firstbaseman either and he had a nice career didn’t he??? I’m not comparing Hague to a hall of famer, I’m just saying you don’t have to hit 30 homers a year to be a good firstbaseman….

      • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_AGRPLJJRC5GNBYXDY6LHF2U6DU white angus

        hmmmmm, true, but Hernandez was gold glove caliber.  Hague?  not so much.

      • F Lang

        Mark Grace too.

    • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_AGRPLJJRC5GNBYXDY6LHF2U6DU white angus

      if Hague playes well in Indy again, and Jones struggles again, then he may just get that shot.

      off topic, but its kind of funny to me that people ridicule Pedro for his weight but look at the picture of Hague above;  you dont see love handles on Alvarez.

  • James S

    Good to here he is finding grass.

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