Prospect Highlights: Your Daily Alen Hanson Highlight

With Indianapolis on the road, the highlights posted from them have been few and far between, so we have been relying on Altoona to keep us entertained and Alen Hanson has been doing a good job of it lately. Here he hits a two-run single from yesterday’s game, part of another multi-hit game that has become commonplace for him recently. He is hitting .308 in his last ten games and there is one interesting set of stats to note. I mentioned the other day that he needed to cut down his strikeouts and draw a few more walks. In his last six games, he has two walks and one strikeout.

The only other highlight posted was a defensive gem from Drew Maggi worth checking out. Speaking of Maggi, what has got into him lately? Here is a brief summary of his career:

2010: Signed to an overslot deal as a draft-eligible sophomore
2011: Look solid in his first full season at WV. I saw him play numerous times and he handled the bat well, looked good in the field, good speed, all-around good player.
2012: After a half season at Bradenton, he became an organizational filler
2013: See second half of 2012
2014: Hitting .340 with nine stolen bases and an .891 OPS. Can play almost anywhere in the field including this pick at third base, but still can’t get his name in the title for this post. What else is there to notice about this play? The range from Alen Hanson backing up Maggi and the stretch from Stetson Allie at first base.

John Dreker

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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  • piraddict

    With regards to Maggi, did his decline in status result from a fault of his (couldn’t hit AA pitching) or the emergence of Hansen at WV in 2012? Is his defense solid enough that he has a future as a utility man in MLB? It took Lambo a couple of years to figure out AA pitching. Maybe it will be the same with Maggi.

    • John Dreker

      It’s really a head-scratcher. He went from a player that gets almost a $500k bonus to someone that is an afterthought in about 22 months. Once he went to Altoona, they had him bouncing around the lineup/field and then when he took the mound, that is never a good sign in the minors. So it’s kind of tough to go from someone that is in the lineup at a set position everyday, to no idea where/if you are playing each day. He didn’t adjust well to it, that’s for sure. He is still 24 and if he hits like this all year, then you have someone like Josh Harrison, except Maggi can play shortstop better. You can’t really take much from a month, but it wouldn’t be a bad idea to leave him in the lineup and see where it goes. Someone that can hit for average, run the bases and play a lot of positions, has value on an NL bench.

      • piraddict

        Thanks John. It would be cool if Maggi ends up as the Pirates breakout player this year.

        • John Dreker

          He had a nice game yesterday drawing four walks. Would be nice, but it’s still early, so we will see. At least they have him playing over Jarek Cunningham now, so that’s a start.

  • emjayinTN

    Hanson has raised his batting average about 60 points in the past few weeks to .268. Last year he started below the mendoza Line and moved it up to the .280′s before being promoted to AA. With what is happening with the SS position on the Pirates, and a 30 year old placeholder at AAA, do not be surprised if they move Hanson up quicker than we would have expected when the season began. Also, if this swoon continues, all bets are off and the Pirates may start 2015 with Hanson leading off and playing SS, and Polanco batting 2nd and playing RF.

    • piraddict

      I am good with that as long as the rapid advancement doesn’t crush Hansen’s confidence by becoming over matched. I also have hopes for Ngoepe if he shows he is able to sustain what he has been doing over the first month well into the Summer.

    • Dom DiDominic

      So, Polanco is slugging .621 and the Pirates are going to skip the Super 2 on Hanson and moving him to SS for opening day? No chance. Same pattern, will call him up in August to Indy, then be there until past Super 2. Then a possible move.

    • smurph

      NH’s track record is clear. He will not advance a prospect until he earns it. As Dom said, if Polanco is not moved up before mid-June, you can be sure of the same thing for Hanson in 2015.

    • Y2JGQ2

      Hanson STILL cannot play SS in the majors, this isn’t about his hitting. He needs defensive experience and improvement. He and Alvarez on that side of the infield with the defense struggles we already have would be disasterous on this sinker ball pitching staff

  • johndw28

    Can anyone tell me how many errors Hanson has so far this year or where I can find such information?

    • piraddict

      Go to the Pirates website, http://www.pittsburghpirates.com, click on roster, then Minor League Affiliates, then the stats line under the Altoona header. You will see that Alen has 9 errors in 27 games.

    • smurph

      Or you can go to http://www.milb.com which is the home page for minor league baseball. Then click on Altoona. Then click on Hanson’s name. Nine errors is not that bad. Not good, but his defense is getting better.

      • Y2JGQ2

        That’s 60 errors over the course of a major league season…….not that bad????????

        • John Dreker

          Minor league error totals do not translate even up to major league totals. Everything around players in the minors is much worse. The field, the lighting, the players on his team. I can guarantee that there won’t be a young kid at first base, who was a pitcher less than two years ago, responsible for every throw Hanson makes to first base. If Allie and Hanson both made it to the majors, each would have another 1 1/2 years of experience at their position before they made it, so they would each get better. Gift Ngoepe has six errors at second base this year. Neil Walker made seven all of last season. Ngoepe is the better defensive player.

  • johndw28

    Thanks so much guys- I go to milb.com but somehow missed the errors there. Appreciate it the feedback.

  • Matt Beam

    looks a little bit like Alexi Ramirez from the right side, albeit a few inches shorter