Pirates’ Alen Hanson Continues Breakout Spring

It was only natural that Pirates shortstop Alen Hanson would cool off after his blistering April, when the 19-year-old ranked second in the entire minors with a .410 average for low Class A West Virginia. Hanson’s hitting a more modest .263/.317/.474 so far in May, but he’s already put himself solidly on the prospect radar.

A night after taking home a golden sombrero, going 0-for-4 with four strikeouts on Tuesday, Hansen righted the ship by going 3-for-5 with a double and a homer, his sixth of the campaign. Hanson raised his slash line back up to .358/.397/.617. He ranks second in the South Atlantic League in average and slugging and leads the circuit in hits (58) and doubles (16).

The blight on Hanson’s spring has been his defense, as he’s made 17 errors in 32 games, easily the most of any SAL shortstop. He made four errors on Wednesday, all of them fielding errors. Hanson’s throwing arm is expected to be the biggest obstacle to him staying at shortstop, but just three of his 17 errors have been of the throwing variety. His errors have also tended to come in bunches. Wednesday was his fifth multi-error game, and he committed seven in his first 11 games at shortstop in April.