Alen Hanson ranked eighth overall among shortstop prospects

AFL Recap: Big Day At The Plate For Alen Hanson

The Scottsdale Scorpions offense broke out on Saturday, scoring 12 runs in a victory over Peoria. Just one Pirates players took part in today’s game, but he played a major part on offense.  Scottsdale is now 4-6 on the season. They are off on Sunday.arizona_fall_league_logo

Alen Hanson was the only Pittsburgh Pirates player in the starting lineup today. He batted lead-off and was in at shortstop. He didn’t start yesterday, though he did enter the game late as a pinch-runner. Hanson had struggled at the plate and in the field through the first nine games of the AFL season. He was hitting .217 in 23 AB’s, with one walk and 11 strikeouts. Three of his five base hits were bunt hits. Hanson did have a couple highlights on offense, a triple and three stolen bases. On defense, he had five errors prior to Saturday, with two games in a row in which he committed both a fielding and throwing error.

On Saturday, Hanson led off the game with a ground ball single up the middle. He had a strong AB, seeing a total of eight pitches. Hanson moved to second base on a wild pitch, then to third base with no outs after a single from the second place hitter. He scored the first run of the game three batters later.

In his second AB, Hanson singled on a line drive to right field. He was caught stealing a few pitches later, though it was likely a delayed steal or missed hit-and-run as the play went 2-4-3. In the fifth inning, Hanson was hit by a pitch, a 95 MPH fastball. He was a little shaken up, but stayed in the game. Two batters later, he came around to score his second run of the game, tying the score. Hanson came up for a fourth time with two outs in the sixth, the score tied and a man on first. He flew out to right field to end the inning.

In the eighth inning, Hanson came to the plate with no outs, the bases loaded and his team winning by a 5-4 score. He had an eight pitch AB that ended with a two-run single. Two batters later, he scored his third run of the day. He came up for a sixth time in the ninth inning and popped out to shortstop. He finished the day 3-for-5, three runs, two RBI’s and a HBP. On defense, he handled everything hit his way.

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John Dreker

John was born in Kearny, NJ, hometown of the 2B for the Pirates 1909 World Championship team, Dots Miller. In fact they have some of the same relatives in common, so it was only natural for him to become a lifelong Pirates fan. Before joining Pirates Prospects in July 2010, John had written numerous articles on the history of baseball while also releasing his own book and co-authoring another on the history of the game. He writes a weekly article on Pirates history for the site, has already interviewed many of the current minor leaguers with many more on the way and follows the foreign minor league teams very closely for the site. John also provides in person game reports of the West Virginia Power and Altoona Curve.

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  • Possum

    How great it would be to see Hanson doing that in Pittsburgh in a couple years. Thanks for the update John.

    Beat ‘em Bucs in 2014

  • emjayinTN

    Excellent recap of one of our rising stars, and Kudo’s to the Pirates. First they signed Gregory Polanco and Alen Hanson out of the Dominican and the prices they paid will tell you that not many other teams saw the ability that the Pirates saw in these two. As a switchhitting middle infielder, Hanson signed for $150,000 and Polanco signed for only $75,000 both in 2009 by Rene Gayo and Ellis Pena. Polanco just turned 22 and many of us think he will be in the Pirates OF in June 2014. Hanson will not even turn 21 until next week, and played most of the year at Hi A. Therefore, he was at least a full year younger than anyone in Hi A, and now in the AFL, he is about 2 years younger than the average. His numbers at Hi A were very good, but nothing as good as what he posted at Lo A in 2012 when he hit over .300 with 33 doubles, 13 triples, and 16 HR’s as a leadoff batter who also stole 35 bases.

    Every team tries to find a “sleeper” in the International Draft, but signing Starling Marte for $85,000 in 2007, and then Polanco and Hanson in 2009 for a combined $225,000, has to be better than any other team in baseball.

    • buster09

      emjay : I have been wanting to tell you for a couple of days now that I am with you all the way on Polanco being in Pittsburgh mid 2014. The people that keep up that ” he needs a full season in AAA line ” have obviously never seen the kid play in person. I saw all of his home games in AA,and never saw any one come through the orginization in 15 years that have his approach at the plate. Special stuff.

      • John Dreker

        I don’t think he will need a full season at AAA for a few reasons. He already got some time in there, including playoff action. He will get plenty of chances to play against major leaguers in Spring Training this upcoming year and the Pirates were smart enough to get him into five Spring games this year to get him acclimated. His plate patience and pitch selection is already strong. He is a solid base runner with above average speed, plus he can play excellent defense with a strong arm. It means, that even if the bat struggles a little at first, he will add value on the bases and on defense. With his speed, plate discipline and some power in his bat, he will be able to manufacture some hits, so you won’t likely see an extended slump. He could come up in July and struggle a little, but he definitely won’t be overmatched.

  • Heckler1

    You are being too kind with Mr. Personality and his getting picked off while running. He was a master of that (and strikting out and making errors) while in High A ball in Bradenton. At least he apparently hasn’t changed much! I certainly hope the Pirates see through the hype of this kid and trade him or more appropriately release him

    • John Dreker

      The throw went from catcher to second base to first base(2-4-3) so I don’t think he got picked off or I was kind by saying that. Just using common sense when replay wasn’t available. I can guarantee that the Pirates won’t release someone who held his own at AA at age 20 this year

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