AFL: Hanson Hits Walk-Off Single In Extra Innings

Scottsdale continued to play well after a slow start, winning 2-1 over Mesa on a walk-off hit in the tenth inning on Wednesday. They are now 7-6 on the season after losing five of their first six games. arizona_fall_league_logo

Alen Hanson was back in the lineup after sitting out on his 21st birthday on Tuesday. On Wednesday, he was hitting second in the order. In his first AB, Hanson drew a nine pitch walk that started with five straight strikes from former 1st round draft pick, Matt Purke. After seeing a lot of pitches his first time up, Hanson grounded out to shortstop on the second pitch of his second plate appearance. In his third time up, Hanson popped out to second base.

In the bottom of the eighth, Hanson came up with runners on the corners, two outs and his team trailed 1-0. He worked the count to 2-2 before striking out swinging, ending the threat. In the tenth, Hanson had a second chance to win the game. Catcher Andrew Susac walked, then Gift Ngoepe pinch ran for him. Ngoepe moved over to third base on a single, then after a walk to load the bases, Hanson came up. He went down 0-2 quickly, then hit the third pitch into right field for a walk-off single.

Alex Dickerson was batting fifth and in right field. He has been switching back and forth between the two corner outfield spots. In his first AB, Dickerson grounded out to shortstop. In his second AB, he grounded out to second base. Matt Purke went through the entire Scottsdale lineup rather easy, allowing just a single and the walk to Hanson through five innings. Dickerson drew a walk in his third plate appearance. In the ninth, after Scottsdale tied it on a triple and passed ball, Dickerson hit a one out single. He finished the day 1-for-3, with a walk. He is hitting .323 through 31 AB’s.

Matt Benedict came on to pitch the fifth inning, entering the game with no score from either side. The first pitch Benedict threw was ground softly to second base for an infield hit. The next hitter laced an 0-1 pitch into the right-center field gap for a ground rule double. Benedict got a grounder to first base for the first out and the runners had to hold. He then struck out first round draft pick Kris Bryant. With two outs, Benedict got out of the jam with a ground ball to Alen Hanson for the final out. He threw 13 pitches, ten went for strikes. That was his only inning of work.

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Does anybody know why, if Alex Dickerson was drafted with a projection of being a first baseman, that Dickerson has consistently been playing the outfield, both at Altoona and the AFL? Does his 1B defense really stink that much? With the Pirates need at 1B it would be nice to consider Dickerson to be in the mix. But if he never plays there how can we legitimately do that?


Alex has terminal stone hands, and the Pirates are trying to find a place where his bat can play. Elite defensive 1B are hard to come by, and the Pirates have a monster defensive twosome in Morneau and Sanchez. Based on what we have in the minors, I would recommend they attempt to sign Justin Morneau to a 3 year contract at around $30 mil. We have the pitching that can throw ground balls and the infielders who can field them – a strong defensive first baseman impacts the play of the other 3 infielders and the pitcher and catcher – let’s not be cheap.


John: First, thank you for the update. Hanson started out shaky on defense – I have not heard or read anything more about fielding or throwing errors – has he been doing better?

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