Former top-100 prospect Alen Hanson is currently enjoying his first extended stay in the Major Leagues. And, so far, Hanson has made a push for playing time.
Alen Hanson made his Major League debut in May. However, this stay in the Majors was short lived. This is due to Hanson only getting the call up because Starling Marte went on paternity leave.
However, in late August Hanson was called up once again. And since then he has become a vital part of the Pirates’ bench. But, in my opinion, Alen Hanson should be getting more opportunities to start.
Alen Hanson has played in 18 Major League games thus far. However, he has only started one game. This game as part of a double header against the Cincinnati Reds last Saturday. In his lone start, which came at second base, Hanson went 1-for-4 with a run scored and a run knocked in.
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In his 18 games Hanson has accumulated 16 plate appearances. In these 16 plate appearances Hanson owns a .357/.438/.429/.867 slash line, .363 wOBA, and a 130 wRC+. Also, he owns a 3:2 BB:K ratio.
While this is obviously a very small sample size, there have still be good signs from Hanson. He has not looked over matched at the plate, he has been aggressive on the bases, and he has also played strong defense in 17 1/3 innings at second base.
In last night’s game Alen Hanson did not start. However, he came in after Gregory Polanco exited the game in the first inning. After entering the game Hanson went 2-for-3 with two runs scored.
Now that it appears Gregory Polanco will be joining Starling Marte and Josh Harrison on the Pirates’ M.A.S.H. unit, there is no excuse for Alen Hanson to not see more playing time. Hanson could play a pivotal role with the Pirates in the future. And the next nine games are an excellent opportunity to give Hanson the chance to try and prove himself.
The switch hitting Hanson can play third base, second base, and the corner outfield spots. His primary position, however, is second base. Anyone who reads my work knows that I am far from sold on Josh Harrison as an everyday player at second base. Alen Hanson has a much higher ceiling than Harrison and he could very possibly supplant Harrison as the everyday second baseman next season.
Even if Alen Hanson does not have a future as a starter for the Pirates he can still be a strong bench player. It appears Hanson may have found his way into Clint Hurdle‘s doghouse due to failing to get a sacrifice bunt down last week. Yet another example of why sacrifice bunting with position players is nothing short of stupid.
The youth movement is on in full force in Pittsburgh. Players such as Jameson Taillon, Chad Kuhl, Adam Frazier, A.J. Schugel, Felipe Rivero, and Josh Bell have solidified themselves this season as big parts of the Pirates’ core. Tyler Glasnow and Trevor Williams have shown flashes of good things as well. Now, it is Alen Hanson’s turn to show what he can do.