Alen Hanson, Gregory Polanco, and Matt Benedict are SAL All-Stars

The South Atlantic League All-Star team has been announced, and three Pirates prospects have been selected to the team. Breakout hitters Alen Hanson and Gregory Polanco, along with 2011 30th round draft pick Matt Benedict, were selected as the representatives from the West Virginia Power.

Hanson has not only been the biggest breakout player in the Pirates’ system this year, but he’s also been one of the biggest breakout players in all of baseball. The shortstop is hitting for a .332/.391/.586 line in 220 at-bats, with eight homers. Heading in to games on Tuesday, Hanson leads the minor league organization in hits (73), average (.332), and slugging (.586). He is tied for first in doubles (18), triples (7), and home runs (8). He ranks second in stolen bases (14) and OBP (.391).

Polanco has also had a breakout season, hitting for a .304/.363/.480 line in 204 at-bats. His eight homers tie Hanson for the system lead. He is also tied for the system lead with 15 stolen bases. He ranks second to Hanson in hits (62), ranks third in average (.304), and ranks fourth in slugging (.480).

Benedict currently has a 2.93 ERA in 67.2 innings, with a 42:17 K/BB ratio. He has pitched in to the sixth inning in each of his last six starts, and has allowed three or fewer runs in his last five starts. The right-hander has only given up more than three runs in one of his 12 starts this year, giving up five earned runs in 5.1 innings on May 10th. He’s only given up three earned runs in two other starts, with his other nine starts going for 0-2 earned runs. Among Pirates minor league starters with 10 or more starts, he ranks third in ERA (2.93), fifth in BB/9 (2.3), and first in HR/9 (0.1).

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Tim Williams

Tim is the owner and editor in chief of Pirates Prospects. He started the site in January 2009, and turned it into his full time job during the 2011 season. Prior to starting Pirates Prospects, Tim worked with, providing MLB, NHL, and NFL coverage to various national media outlets, including ESPN Insider, USA Today, Yahoo Sports, and the Wall Street Journal. He also writes the annual Prospect Guide, which is sold through the site. Tim lives in Bradenton, where he provides live coverage all year of Spring Training, mini camp, instructs, the Bradenton Marauders, and the GCL Pirates.

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  • SilverSalmon586

    Saw Benedict pitch last year – he gets a ton of ground balls, he’s a tall big athletic kid. I know he was a late college senior pick but he pitches to contact, throws a sinker and eats innings. When does a late round college senior become a prospect?

    • Tim Williams

      For a college guy, it would be after he has success in AA.

    • Lee Young

      I love what Polanco and Hansen are doing. I am hoping they too can keep it up when they hit AA.

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