Alen Hanson is a talented young player. However, he may not have a future in Pittsburgh. Due to this, he could be trade bait this offseason.
For the better part of five years Alen Hanson has been one of the Pittsburgh Pirates’ top prospects. In fact, Hanson has even spent some of those years as a top-100 prospect. And this was for good reason.
Hanson is a switch hitter with elite speed on the bases. He possesses the potential to be a double-digit home run hitter. Additionally, his defense at second base is very strong.
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During the 2016 season Alen Hanson made his Major League debut. In 27 games played he accumulated 33 plate appearances. In these 33 plate appearances he slashed .226/.273/.258/.631 with a .225 wOBA and a wRC+ of 37. He also stole two bases while also collecting his first career RBI.
While, yes, Hanson’s first taste of the Major Leagues did not go as smoothly as he had hoped that is not what is important. What is important is that he finally made it to the Majors. At this point, he has nothing left to gain from more time at Triple-A.
Due to this, Hanson is a trade candidate this offseason. Another factor is that Hanson is third on the Pirates’ pecking order at second base. Currently, he finds himself behind both Josh Harrison and Adam Frazier.
Alen Hanson has a higher offensive ceiling than Josh Harrison does and his defense is far superior to Adam Frazier’s. Because of this I would like to see Hanson get an opportunity to earn a near everyday role at second base in 2017. However, this is unlikely to happen.
Another reason Hanson could find himself of the trade block is because he has found himself in the Pirate doghouse in the past. While in the Minor Leagues he was benched more than once for lack of hustle/lackadaisical play. He also had this same problem during his September call-up in 2016. So, it is possible the Pirates have soured on him as a potential long-term answer.
There are plenty of teams around Major League Baseball that would see Alen Hanson as a potential long-term answer at second base. Due to this, he could be a nice trade piece. Even though, personally, I would like to see him become that player for the Pittsburgh Pirates.