It takes a special blend of power and speed to do what Alen Hanson has done this year at the plate and on the bases. He has reached double figures in doubles, triples, homers and stolen bases. The last Pirates players to accomplish that in the minors were Starling Marte and Hanson in 2012. Before that, Alex Presley did it during his breakout season in 2010 and then you have to go back to 2005 and Craig Stansberry for another example. Basically, it’s not something that is easily accomplished.
What if we take the stats a little further. Hanson has stolen 25 bases in each of his two quadruple-double seasons, swiping his 25th bag on Wednesday night. That’s something that only he has done out of the group mentioned above. All of the other three players fell short in steals. So when exactly has it been done last you may ask? The last time a quadruple-double by a Pirates player had at least 25 stolen bases was back in 1992 by Keith Thomas, a player in his seventh season of pro ball, playing in high-A ball. He played 14 years in the minors and never had more than four triples in any other season. So it was a fluke season for him, partially brought on by being in a level too low for him.
Now that’s not exactly a great comparison player, but that’s 22 years that you have to go back to find another Pirates minor league player that accomplished once what Hanson has done twice already. That just tells you how special his accomplishments are, and exactly what type of special skills he possesses at the plate and on the basepaths. It’s seem like too much of the focus is put on his defense when talking about him and that might be partially due to the fact that he has proven he can hit in the minors already.
When we talked earlier this week about JaCoby Jones being on pace for the first 20/20 in franchise history(minors) since 2007, we usually mention that Jones is playing at a level that is too low for him at his age/experience. Unfortunately, it looks like he might not get a chance to reach 20/20 because he was put on the disabled list yesterday, which almost puts him out until the end of the season. It’s likely that not many people realize that JaCoby Jones is actually seven months older than Alen Hanson because it seems like Hanson has been around for awhile.
That puts what Hanson has done into even better perspective, because he was playing at the same level that Jones is at this year, two years ago, when he first reached the quadruple-double mark. Now he is still younger than Jones, but playing two levels higher. Some people even say that Hanson’s defense has held him back at AA, which could very well be true. I believe he could handle AAA pitching at this point, but there is no need to rush him because he will need time to adjust to second base.
I’ve also suggested that Hanson could be an ideal September roster addition for a team in a playoff hunt. He is a switch-hitter that provides above average speed and has some pop in his bat. He is already on the 40-man roster, so that part isn’t a problem. It also might be good for him to get a taste of the Majors, see what he is playing for and make him work that much harder to get back there. We will likely see Hanson in Pittsburgh mid-season next year, even if the glove isn’t ready, his bat will be too good to keep down.
Pirates Game Graph
Pittsburgh: The Pirates are 4.5 games behind St. Louis for the first Wild Card spot. They are 2 games behind San Francisco for the second spot. They are currently six games back from the Milwaukee Brewers in the NL Central.
Indianapolis: The Indians are five games back in the International League West, and seven games back in the Wild Card with 12 games left in the season.
Bradenton: The Marauders are in first place in the Florida State League South, tied with Palm Beach. They need to win the second half division to make the playoffs. The Marauders have 12 games left in their season, four against Palm Beach.
Minor League Starter of the Day: In West Virginia, Buddy Borden will make his 25th start of the season. He leads West Virginia pitchers with 111 strikeouts, which ranks him third in the South Atlantic League. Borden has a 1.95 ERA in his last ten appearances(nine starts) combined. In those games, he has 58 strikeouts in 50.2 innings. Jamestown’s Montana DuRapau has given up one earned run or less in 10 of his 12 appearances. He has walked two batters in his last five starts combined. The DSL Pirates game was suspended after six innings with the score tied at three apiece. They will finish that game today, prior to the regularly scheduled game. The DSL season ends on Saturday.
MLB: Pittsburgh (65-62) @ Milwaukee (71-56) 8:10 PM 8/22
Probable starter: Jeff Locke (3.73 ERA, 63:19 K/BB, 91.2 IP)
AAA: Indianapolis (66-66) vs Toledo (65-67) 7:05 PM
Probable starter: A.J. Morris (3.13 ERA, 15:8 K/BB, 23 IP)
AA: Altoona (55-75) @ Akron (71-59) 7:05 PM
Probable starter: Stolmy Pimentel (NR)
High-A: Bradenton (70-57, 35-23 2nd half) vs Fort Myers (76-52) 6:30 PM
Probable starter: Chad Kuhl (3.47 ERA, 87:37 K/BB, 137.1 IP)
Low-A: West Virginia (49-77, 29-29 2nd half) vs Lakewood (49-78) 7:05 PM
Probable starter: Buddy Borden (3.03 ERA. 111:48 K/BB, 119 IP)
Short-Season A: Jamestown (29-33) vs Batavia (30-34) 7:05 PM
Probable Starter: Montana DuRapau (2.54 ERA, 38:6 K/BB, 46 IP)
RK: Bristol (18-40) @ Burlington (25-33) 7:00 PM
Probable Starter: TBD
GCL: Pirates (18-35) vs Tigers (29-23) 12:00 PM
Probable Starter: TBD
DSL: Pirates (33-35) vs Mets2 (27-41) 10:30 AM
Video of Alen Hanson hitting his 11th homer.
Mel Rojas Jr homers for Indianapolis. It’s his fifth homer since being promoted to AAA and his tenth homer of the season. Prior to this year, he never hit more than six homers in a season and had a total of 16 in his first four years combined.
8/20: Gerrit Cole activated from disabled list. Brent Morel assigned to Indianapolis.
8/20: Jacoby Jones placed on disabled list. Francisco Diaz activated from DL.
8/20: Felipe Gonzalez promoted to Bradenton. Jake Burnette promoted to West Virginia.
8/20: Matt Curry assigned to Altoona. Drew Maggi placed on disabled list.
8/19: Andrew McCutchen activated from disabled list. Michael Martinez sent to Indianapolis.
8/19: Josh Bell placed on disabled list. Ralph Henriquez activated from DL.
8/19: Adam Wilk placed on disabled list.
8/18: Matt Hague claimed off waivers by Toronto Blue Jays
8/18: Clint Barmes assigned to Indianapolis on rehab.
8/18: Pat Ludwig placed on disabled list.
8/17: Charlie Morton placed on disabled list. Brent Morel recalled
8/17: A.J. Morris assigned to Indianapolis.
8/15: Elias Diaz promoted to Indianapolis.
8/15: Stolmy Pimentel placed on 15-day disabled list. John Axford added to roster.
8/14: Clint Barmes assigned to Altoona on rehab.
8/14: A.J. Morris assigned to Altoona.
8/14: John Axford claimed off waivers from Cleveland Indians.
8/14: Matt Hague designated for assignment.
8/14: Pirates sign pitcher Matt Nevarez. Assign him to Altoona.
This Date in Pirates History
Eight former Pittsburgh Pirates players were born on this date, including the right fielder for the 1909 World Series winning club. He holds a Major League record that has stood unsurpassed for 102 years. Owen “Chief” Wilson was a rookie during the 1909 season. A right fielder with a strong bat and a cannon in the outfield. Wilson was good during that first season, but broke out in 1911 when he hit .300 with 107 RBIs. The next year, he hit 36 triples, breaking the mark of 31 that was done twice before. Since that 1912 season, no one has hit more than 26 triples in a season. Current fans of the Pirates, depending on age, will remember four of the other players born on this date. You can read all the bios, as well as a trade recap from the 1987 season and a game recap from 1963, in the link provided here.