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Saturday, December 3, 2022

Winter Leagues: Alen Hanson Homers During Team’s 5-3 Victory

On Tuesday night in the Dominican, Alen Hanson batted lead-off and went 2-for-5 with a solo homer in the ninth inning and an RBI single earlier in the game. He reached base four times and scored four runs in his season debut on Saturday. Hanson was the designated hitter, after playing second base in his first game.

In that same game, Mel Rojas Jr. also batted lead-off and played left field. He went 0-for-3 with a walk. He had hits in each of his first three games.

Yesterday, Willy Garcia was the headline player for his two hit game in his first start. That game turned out to be better for him than he was originally given credit for due to a scoring change well after the game ended. The change gave him another single, which means he had three hits in the game. On Tuesday, he went 1-for-5 with a run scored. Garcia also picked up an outfield assist. During the regular season, he set Altoona’s single season record with 19 assists.

In Mexico, Stetson Allie was in the DH spot and had an RBI single in his first at-bat. He finished 2-for-4 with an RBI. He has now reached base in all nine games. Allie has a .324 average and .822 OPS.

Dean Anna went 2-for-4, with two doubles, a walk and he drove in two runs. Anna is hitting .364 and just like Allie, he has reached base in all nine games.

In Venezuela, Junior Sosa made his debut for Bravos de Margarita, going 1-for-4 with a single. He played center field and picked up an outfield assist. Sosa recently re-signed with the Pirates after reaching minor league free agency.

Jhonathan Ramos made his season debut, going one scoreless inning, allowing a single, walk and he picked up a strikeout.

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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.


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One nice thing about Allie is that he continues to trend upward, has a good eye, will take a walk if he can get it and has great power, has holes in his swing as most power hitters do, when you take his experience level into consideration, he looks like one of the best prospects in the organization, could spend time in AAA this year and if he does, that does not put him far from the majors. Strikeouts are not abnormal these days, seems players accept them so easily.


I think at this point Hanson’s floor is Josh Harrision 2011-2013. Super utility. His upside is Chase Utley.

Allie’s floor is Gaby Sanchez 2014, his upside is Mark Reynolds.

R Edwards

Chase Utley? I don’t see that comparison at all – two completely different athletes, body builds, etc.


Limited power, high walk total. Good defense. Remember Utley as a 25 year old not a 35 year old.

R Edwards

Still don’t see it – Utley is 6’1″ or 6’2″ and 200 lbs. Hanson is 5’10” at best, and is very slight in comparison. I like the Brian Roberts comparison better.


Sure, Roberts is a better comp. Just want people to realize his ceiling is REALLY high and floor is pretty too.

R Edwards

That I do agree with….I just hope he stays grounded and a good head on his shoulders. He could provide speed at the top of the lineup and could allow Walker to move to first….


I’ve been saying for years that Hanson is Brian Roberts. I stand by that


I don’t see any comparison either, Utley and Walker are similar, but Hanson is a Punch and Judy leadoff hitter.


Punch and Judy? Averaging in double figures for HR’s over the past 3 years which were primarily at Lo A in 2012, Hi A in 2013, and AA in 2014. At AA this year he hit 11 HR’s at Altoona even though he played the whole year as a 21 year old giving up 3.7 years to the league average age. I remember a kid by the name of McCutchen who hit 10 HR’s at Altoona in 2007 in about the same number of AB’s as a 20 year old. This kid is the real deal and I am looking forward to he and Polanco at 1 & 2 in the batting order – it won’t be long before that becomes a reality. Neil Walker will be batting 4th and playing First Base.


He appeared to me to be a lot more selective in AA than Reynolds is even now.


I am, again, extremely impressed with Stetson Allie. The power potential alone is extremely intriguing but beyond that he’s developing the bat much quicker than I ever imagined when he converted from pitching. He’s had success, despite the strikeouts, in AA with only 630 ABs in A-Ball/Rookie league. He put up an .800 OPS in AA after completely skipping Bradenton…and now he’s, again, putting up successful, if not extremely impressive, numbers at the start of his winter league season. He does this, I know…have streaks, but it really is hard not to be impressed with the success he’s had, how he’s been able to respond to the challenges, and his big bat potential.


I agree.

I think the swing is too stiff to ever hit for a decent average, doesn’t seem like he’s athletic enough to get the barrel to the ball consistently. But one thing I have noticed is how much he’s still working on mechanics. Even within the course of a single season. I think it’s fair to (optimistically) add some projection to what he’s done to date once he actually gets comfortable in the box.


I think it would be reasonable to expect similar average to Pedro Alvarez but, but I actually think it is also reasonable to expect a better OBP and, while not as many homers, still a good amount of homers/slugging. I am cautiously optimistic that the way Allie has responded in such a short period of time and how well he’s starting in Mexico, which right now is similar to what he was facing in AA, is indicative of some real potential with him.

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