The Scottsdale Scorpions starting shortstop today was Bucs prospect Alen Hanson. Most of you know that Hanson was the player who broke out in 2012 and then saw the power fall off a cliff this year. He did earn a promotion, but started off slowly for the Double-A Altoona Curve hitting just .143 in his first 28 at-bats.
The Arizona Fall League is going to be a challenge for the infielder, but we have to think the Bucs are hoping that history repeats itself. Hanson finished the AA season with improved numbers including a rebound .255 average and .679 OPS.
The good news in the AFL for Hanson? The fielding, which has always been questionable, has been good.
The hitting?–well not so much yet. Hanson has two hits in the Arizona Fall League, both of them were bunt singles. Hanson is 2-for-9 on the young season, he struck out three times today. He also stole two bases.
Some good news was the work the Scorpions got from one of their not-so-big name pitching prospect from the Pirates. You probably recall Matt Benedict who strugggled as a starter, but has pitched better out of the bullpen.
Eggs came in the game in the third and got the job done with two groundballs and an outfield liner. In the fourth inning Benedict got a strikeout, a fly out and a groundball out. He stayed on a roll in the fifth until he gave up a double on his 37th pitch of the outing.
Zack Thornton pitched well in the fifth and got Benedict out of the jam. He cruised in the sixth, but in the seventh committed two errors, gave up three hits and two runs in his final inning.