Pittsburgh Pirates: What to do with Alen Hanson


The Pittsburgh Pirates called up second baseman Alen Hanson for the September roster expansions.  So far his play has been limited, to say the least. Let’s analyze what the Pittsburgh Pirates may do with him going forward.

Alen Hanson was once a prized prospect in the Pittsburgh Pirates farm system.  He along with Gregory Polanco broke out in 2012 for Low-A West Virginia Power. Hanson was expected to be a big part of the Pittsburgh Pirates future.  However, the once rated top 100 prospect found himself moved away from his primary position of shortstop in 2014.  While in Double-A Hanson was not showing any improvements on his defense.  He is a gifted athlete, but would allow mental errors to cause him issues at the position.  This went along with his declining offensive numbers.

Over the last two years Hanson has hit .263 (2015) and .266 (2016) in Triple-A.  Not a terrible batting average, but also not what many were hoping for just a few years ago.  He also brought very little pop over the last two season with it being under .400 in each season.  With that, Hanson has brought some good elements too.  He stolen 30 plus bases over the last two season, and has provided strong defense at second base.

Passed on the depth chart:

While Hanson has struggled over the last two season he has seen himself passed on the depth chart by Adam Frazier.  Who not only was hitting .330 in Triple-A, but he also has been very productive at the major league level.  Right behind Hanson is top prospect Kevin Newman who put on a hitting clinic at High-A and Double-A, and will likely find himself in Triple-A next season.  So where does this leave Alen Hanson?

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The Pittsburgh Pirates have Adam Frazier slated to be the utility infielder next season, and David Freese under contract.  Hanson does not have an obvious spot on this team.  The Pittsburgh Pirates have shown this by only giving Hanson 12 plate appearances this season.  He also is out of options next year and therefore would have to clear waivers to be assigned the Triple-A.  With that, Hanson has spent two season at Triple-A, his time there is done.  The Pittsburgh Pirates would love to have Alen Hanson on their team.  He is a switch hitter, and dynamic player, and a decent hitter.  Unfortunately, they do not have a spot for him.

The Best Option:

The Pittsburgh Pirates need starting pitching next season.  Although they have a lot of young pitching, it is hard to compete with out reliable, inning eating, veterans in your rotation.  Heading into next year Gerrit Cole is the only started to have more than one year of service.  Not exactly ideal.  Nothing against the young arms, who all have upside, but you need a veteran.  Another thing is that the Pittsburgh Pirates will need a left-handed pitcher.  Steven Brault could serve as that option, but is likely a better option for the bullpen.  Alen Hanson may not be a valuable piece here for the Pittsburgh Pirates.  However, Hanson could be a valuable trade chip in trying to acquire a starting pitcher.

Related Story: Adam Frazier a rising player?

No matter what the Pittsburgh Pirates do with Hanson it will be positive.  Would you like the Pittsburgh Pirates to make room on the bench for him?  Or would you rather use him as trade bait?  So please comment below with your opinion!

All stats courtesy of Baseball Reference.