In game one of Altoona’s doubleheader yesterday, Alen Hanson led off the game with a home run, his first of the season. His bat is just starting to come around with a .282 average in his last nine games and he leads the Eastern League with four triples. Hanson homered eight times last year.
Gift Ngoepe continues to hit well, lining an RBI single in game two of the doubleheader. He has a six game hitting streak and an .871 OPS on the season. He has ten extra base hits this year. For those that asked after hearing his name pronounced in the highlights earlier this week, he told me on Wednesday that it is “n-GO-pay”, which is obviously different from the “n-WEE-peh” we heard for the first three years or so of his career.
John started working at Pirates Prospects in 2009, but his connection to the Pittsburgh Pirates started exactly 100 years earlier when Dots Miller debuted for the 1909 World Series champions. John was born in Kearny, NJ, two blocks from the house where Dots Miller grew up. From that hometown hero connection came a love of Pirates history, as well as the sport of baseball.
When he didn't make it as a lefty pitcher with an 80+ MPH fastball and a slider that needed work, John turned to covering the game, eventually focusing in on the prospects side, where his interest was pushed by the big league team being below .500 for so long. John has covered the minors in some form since the 2002 season, and leads the draft and international coverage on Pirates Prospects. He writes daily on Pittsburgh Baseball History, when he's not covering the entire system daily throughout the entire year on Pirates Prospects.