Since being moved to second base at the beginning of August, Alen Hanson has been adjusting well, Altoona Curve Manager Carlos Garcia said on Wednesday night.
“It’s been good. At least he’s had more time to focus to make the routine plays. The throw is not as long as it is from the shortstop [position]. He’s only played about two and a half weeks [at second base] before he got hurt, but he likes it over there.”
Hanson was having a solid season at the plate before his hamstring injury, producing an offensive quadruple-double that included 11 home runs, 12 triples, 21 doubles, and 25 stolen bases. But to go along with his offensive success came 33 total errors on defense (29 at shortstop, 4 at second base).
Hanson has struggled to keep his focus this season when playing defense. Garcia said that he hopes that Hanson will take the mentality he has at the plate, and apply it while playing defense.
The plan for Hanson at the end of the season is to head to the Instructional League, and then play Winter Ball to continue to work on his fielding skills and experience at both second base and at shortstop.
“[Alen] definitely has to keep working in game situations and be in the [right] spot at the right time. He is still working on balls in the hole, to keep his arm strength from [the shortstop position]. But definitely, he’ll be able to get more experience in the Winter League playing around Big Leaguers over there, and he can see how Big Leaguers do their thing and [how they] go about their business.”
Garcia still believes that Hanson still has the ability to play shortstop in the Majors, saying “a guy with that potential, you never give up on.”
Curve Bench Coach Miles Durham echoed Garcia’s comments.
“He’s a pretty good player, anywhere on the field [I believe] he’s going to be a pretty good player.”
Garcia and Durham believe that with continued hard work and experience, Hanson has the opportunity to be a valuable Major League middle infielder.
Has there ever been an every day DH in the american league that was a leadoff hitter and not a cleanup hitter?
Hanson at best will be our best hitter off the bench and our DH when we play interleague ball away from PNC
I am sure a professional like Garcia is aware of these facts, but for Hanson to succeed at SS at the Major League level, he needs added arm strength, changing his approach to attacking ground balls along with a much quicker release. He played SS like he was a second baseman, so his transition seemed a lot easier, to my eyes anyway.