The Chicago White Sox have claimed 24-year-old infielder Alen Hanson from the Pittsburgh Pirates. Hanson hit .193/.220/.263 in 37 games for the Pirates this season before being designated for assignment last Friday. He also played 27 games for the Pirates last season and put up a .226/.273/.258 slash line. Hanson was out of options this season and receiving sporadic playing time, starting just nine times and playing only three complete games.

Tim Williams recently posted about Hanson’s career with the Pirates and what went wrong. He was once a highly rated prospect in the system, who dropped down to the 20th spot in our latest prospect guide. Hanson still has plus speed, the ability to play second base full-time in the majors and a line drive approach, with occasional pop in his bat. He never got a chance to play regularly in the majors, so it’s possible the White Sox will give him that shot. They could also try to put him through waivers, hoping he clears and gets to go to Triple-A to get regular at-bats, which he hasn’t had since March.

The fact that he had no options left and failed in limited playing time in the majors, killed any possible trade value, so the Pirates lost a young player for nothing in return.

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  1. This does speak however to the concept of selling high on certain prospects, especially those with holes in their games.

    • That’s a tough gig – pretty much every prospect has holes in his game. I totally agree with what was said above – Hanson never got a good chance to succeed, especially down the stretch last season. The Bucs were out of it, yet they failed to give the guy playing time. Why? If he’s such a bad egg, let him go! What, did they think they’d be able to get a return for him? How exactly did they think he’d accrue any value by getting a handful of ABs every week? Utter mismanagement. I was livid when I’d see Ngoepe getting tons of ABs and consistent playing time while Hanson was just collecting dust on the bench.

  2. Funny in years past Garcia and Hanson were always rumored to be in trade talks for White Sox players, Alexei Ramirez comes to mind. Not surprising White Sox claimed them. Just sad in hindsight NH never pulled the trigger on some of the prospects when he had a chance to, one would at least assume he had a chance too.

  3. I’ve been a big Hanson supporter. That being said, he hasn’t done a lot in years. I’m now fine with him being gone. That being said, if this guy turns in to Jose Bautista II, I won’t be surprised. Soooo much upside.

    • I agree; he does have many tools, and if he does ever put them together, he could be a very nice player. Time will tell.

      • Never got a true shot. No one can succeed getting one start every three weeks. That’s not the way the game works. They had the opportunity last September to give him 20 straight starts and see what he could do. I’m baffled as to why that never happened.

        • I’d like to agree with this, because I really thought this kid could be something special. But at the end of the day, he never did anything to justify clearing a spot for him. If he wanted an opportunity, he could have forced the issue with his play and he didn’t.

    • I don’t have a problem with the fact they dealt Bautista. It was what they got back. He was a very serviceable corner OF that could play a little 3B. They dealt him for a catcher with no power that wasn’t a great defender. If they would have got something useable it would have been ok.

  4. Ok, its a test question.

    Compare and contrast.
    Tony Sanchez & Alen Hanson.

    Anyone up to the challenge?

  5. I think the problem is …that he didn’t really have a position to man. With Harrison at SS and Max Moroff in the wings whom i think has more potential than Hanson. Harrison also hits around .280-.300. Hanson most likely wouldn’t have hit that. Where was he going to play? Freese is at 3B. Hanson had played SS in the minors but he had too many errors which is why he went to 2B. He was a Bench player, but without enough playing time he was struggling. Perhaps NH tried to find a trade partner, but teams knowing that he was going to get DFA’d could just wait.

    • When I saw Hanson throw a super routine short throw away I had thoughts that maybe he will just never have his head on right. After that play hurdle never let him play much at all. Not that he really did before that.

  6. Still the love for this guy? He does nothing for 5 years and we still think he has a chance to be a star. This move is no different from releasing any other journeyman playing minor league ball. He can’t hit enough to play second and he can’t field well enough to play short. In short he may be a AAAA player but nothing more.

    • I agree.

      I kind of think he falls into the same player category as a Ronny Cedeno or Pedro Ciriaco, Brock Holt,or John McDonald. A Player that may show spurts of hitting and decent fielding, but really just an average ball player.

      • Oh, I don’t know. I think Brock Holt has had a pretty
        good career for the Sox. I would not put him in the
        same category as the others.

    • I agree as well. I hope he does well but it’s not like he didn’t have chances with the Pirates.

      • Hanson was not given a legitimate chance. To give a prospect a chance means that you put him in and stick with him and try to give him the confidence to succeed. I did not see it last Sep nor in April/May this year.

        I joined P2 because it highlights Prospects who we draft, sign, and develop. When the Pirates give the PT to the used and abused we have picked up from other teams, it turns me off – and that is what I saw from CH in his handling of PT for guys like SRod and Gosselin instead of Hanson.

        • Well you are right that Clint favors guys like SRod and especially Gosselin. However SRod did perform pretty well while Hanson was pretty much scuffling in the minors. Hanson didn’t do much to “demand” a chance with his performance. I don’t think any team just plugs a youngster into the lineup on potential alone.

  7. Hope he gets a fair chance to succeed of fail on his own ability. Hopefully, he will succeed and stick a finger in Pirate management’s eye as well as shithead Clint Hurdle.

    • The end of an era, and the Pirates got absolutely nothing for him in trade. He may not have had a high trade value, but after being named the AAA IL League Best Defensive 2B for the 2nd time in 2016 and batting ,300+ in 4 ST with the Pirates, he had better trade value then than now. Just glad CH was able to get those PA’s for Sean Rodriguez in 2016 while Hanson sat for most of the month of Sep, and for the 28 year old Gosselin this year. Maybe 4 years from now we can pick up Hanson.

      The CWS are a young, rebuilding team and have a need for someone like Hanson, who I expect will play 2B, 3B, SS, and corner OF. The CWS are one of the worst base stealing teams in MLB, so Rich Renteria can see that as a benefit also. He and Willy Garcia both with the pale hose.

  8. Happy for Hanson….to get out of the Pirates mismanaged system and get a chance elsewhere. The Pirates have squandered a lot of talented young players with little to show for them.

    • I’m really not convinced this is true. Yes, many prospects don’t work out. We have disproportionate transparency into the failures in the Pirates system. But if we look at prospect success rate do you really think we lag the rest of the league. Every team has this issue.

      Alternatively if your argument is the Pirates should have traded prospects that ultimately failed when they had value, then you have to live with the flip side, trading prospects that ultimately are successful (which we really haven’t done).

  9. Joins Willy Garcia. Who has handled himself well. Small sample but his defense has been above average and that is without any outfield assists, which he will surely pile up in time. Willy Garcia’s WAR – 0.1 Polanco, Cutch, Marte WAR – (-0.7)

      • With Marte out the Pirate’s OF defense is so deplorable that Republicans from the sticks tried to vote for it.

    • I liked Willy. i don’t think we are losing much. Substitute him for Osuna… is there a big difference in value?

      • I think it depends. Osuna might be a DH but Garcia might be too aggressive and strikeout so much to where his defense wont matter. But Osuna is gonna hit. I think he is going to be a very solid hitter.

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