Prospect Highlights: Homer From Alen Hanson, Ngoepe Continues to Hit

In game one of Altoona’s doubleheader yesterday, Alen Hanson led off the game with a home run, his first of the season. His bat is just starting to come around with a .282 average in his last nine games and he leads the Eastern League with four triples. Hanson homered eight times last year.

Gift Ngoepe continues to hit well, lining an RBI single in game two of the doubleheader. He has a six game hitting streak and an .871 OPS on the season. He has ten extra base hits this year. For those that asked after hearing his name pronounced in the highlights earlier this week, he told me on Wednesday that it is “n-GO-pay”, which is obviously different from the “n-WEE-peh” we heard for the first three years or so of his career.

Author: 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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  • Lee Young

    Goh N-Goh-Pay!

  • piraddict

    A possible 2016 infield:

    1B: Stetson Allie
    2B: Alen Hanson
    SS: Gift NGoepe
    3B: Neil Walker

    • bmcferren

      prefer Jones at short with Gift as a utility infielder

  • piraddict


    How has Elias Diaz’s defensive play been behind the plate? Does he have MLB potential?

    • John Dreker

      Last year at one point, he was rated as the top defensive catcher in the FSL. This season he has been great as far as stats go, throwing out 33% of runners and he hasn’t made an error or had a passed ball yet. If he can continue to hit, then yes he definitely has major league potential and it seems as if he has jumped over Carlos Paulino, who is all defense(above average) but no bat

  • KauaiCoffee

    Ngoepe has the glove to deserve at least a September call up as a utility infielder. He draws a ton of walks and is a quality base runner. If he keeps hitting like this, he will be a real prospect. The Bucs are wafer-thin at Short, so he does not have much competition.