Pirates A.M. – Bucs still “going to give Alen Hanson opportunities”


By Chris Adamski


BRADENTON, Fla. — Alen Hanson is fast. He has the type of speed that, when you see him run up close in person, it sort of takes your breath away.


But, in an analogy I feel comfortable making and might make some sense coming from – does he have Dri Archer speed or Chris Johnson speed?

Alen Hanson attempting a tag on… Starling Marte? (Christopher Horner/Tribune-Review photo)


“He’s in competition with three or four other guys,” Pirates manager Clint Hurdle said of Hanson, who at one point was one of the organization’s top prospects but now finds himself facing an uphill climb just to make the 25-man roster as a bench piece. “And what we’re looking for is dependability out of that position.”


Hanson played all five innings of Saturday’s game in Sarasota against the Orioles. He had an error but also showed his range and made a few plays. He also had a double (albeit, his only hit in five at bats).


Because of his speed (205 steals in the minors) and versatility (2B, 3B, SS, OF), Hanson potentially could be a valuable reserve for the Pirates this season. But like Hurdle said, he’s kind of stuck in a logjam of players (Adam Frazier, Phil Gosselin, Max Moroff, Gift Ngoepe, Chris Bostick among players on the 40-man roster alone) who play similar positions (not even counting the “starters” and – until a certain somebody arrives stateside – starter-for-now David Freese).


In short, there’s far from any guarantees for Hanson, who’s no longer high on the ubiquitous “prospect lists” for the Pirates (and MLB on whole) like he was a few years ago.


“We are going to keep giving him opportunities because he can do some things that you like a lot,” Hurdle said. “The versatility can play and can help out. It’s just finding that niche to be a dependable player with the glove. And he’s working hard to become that.”



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>>> Sunday’s game: Twins (8-4) at Pirates (11-4), 1:05 p.m., LECOM Park, Bradenton. TV: ROOT Sports, Radio: 93.7 The Fan

Twins: J.B. Shuck 8, Eduardo Escobar 6, Ben Paulsen 3, Matt Hague DH, Daniel Palka 7, Drew Stubbs 9, Tommy Field 4, John Ryan Murphy 2, Ehire Adrianza 5. RHP Ryan Vogelsong

Also pitching for Twins: LH Taylor Rogers, RH Nick Tepsch, RH Michael Tonkin

Pirates: Danny Ortiz 8, Jordy Mercer 6, John Jaso 3, David Freese 5, Jose Osuna 9, Chris Stewart 2, Barrett Barnes 7, Chris Bostick 4, RHP Trevor Williams 1.

Also pitching for Pirates: LH Steven Brault, LH Felipe Rivero, LH Tyler Webb, RH Casey Sadler.


>>> Monday’s game:  Pirates at Braves (4-10 heading into Sunday’s game), 1:05 p.m., Champion Stadium, Orlando. Radio: 93.7 The Fan

Braves: Lineup TBA. RHP Bartolo Colon

Also pitching for Braves: LH John Danks, RH Jim Johnson, RH Arodys Vizcaino, RH Luke Jackson

Pirates: Lineup TBA.  RHP Tyler Glasnow

Also pitching for Pirates: LH Wade LeBlanc, RH A.J. Schugel, LH Dan Runzler, RH Pat Light, RH Donvydas Nererauskas.


Chris Adamski is a Tribune-Review staff writer. Reach him at cadamski@tribweb.com or via Twitter @C_AdamskiTrib.