Alen Rery Hanson Michel
- Bats Right, Throws Right
- Height 5' 11", Weight 165 lb.
Alen Hanson made his major league debut in 2016. His father David Hanson spent two seasons in the minors.
Hanson signed with the Pittsburgh Pirates at age 16; the scouts were Rene Gayo and Ellis Pena. In 2010, he debuted with the DSL Pirates and hit .324/.383/.447 with 20 steals in 28 tries and 48 runs in 68 games. He was 8th in the Dominican Summer League in average, 5th in total bases (109) and tied for 4th in runs. In 2011, he came stateside with the GCL Pirates and posted a .263/.352/.429 line with 42 runs in 52 games and 24 steals in 30 tries, alternating between shortstop and second base. He also was 2 for 10 for the State College Spikes. He led the Gulf Coast League in triples (7), was second in steals (behind Claudio Custodio) and 4th in runs (between Ravel Santana and John Schultz). Baseball America rated him as the GCL's 14th-best prospect (between Blake Snell and Joe Musgrove) and the fastest baserunner in the Pirates minor league chain.
Hanson started 2012 on fire with the West Virginia Power. After 27 games, he was hitting .402/.435/.675 with 12 doubles, 4 homers, 4 triples, 10 steals in 15 tries, 29 runs and 16 RBI. The problem was defense - he was fielding .875 at short and there was concern that he would need to switch positions. At the time, he was leading the South Atlantic League in average and doubles while ranking second in runs. He finished the year not quite as dazzling but at a still-impressive .309/.381/.528 with 33 doubles, 13 triples, 16 homers, 99 runs and 35 steals (though caught 19 times). He improved his fielding somewhat, to .907 with 40 errors. He finished 5th in average (between Austin Barnes and Shawn Payne), 4th in slugging (between Keury De La Cruz and teammate Gregory Polanco), did not make the top 10 in OBP, was 4th in OPS (between Polanco and De La Cruz), led in runs (3 ahead of Delino DeShields Jr. and Trevor Story), was second in hits (151, one behind Barnes), tied for 10th in doubles, led in triples (3 ahead of Caleb Ramsey), tied for 9th in home runs, led in total bases (258, 4 ahead of De La Cruz), was 9th in steals and led in times caught stealing (four ahead of Polanco). Among Pirate farmhands, he easily led in runs (15 ahead of Polanco), was second in hits (13 behind Brock Holt), ranked 5th in doubles, tied Starling Marte for the most triples, tied for second in homers (2 behind Willy Garcia), tied Marte for 8th in RBI, was second in steals (5 behind Polanco) and led in caught stealing (4 ahead of Polanco) and total bases (30 more than Polanco). He was named the SAL All-Star shortstop (Story was picked as a utility infielder). Baseball America named him the #4 prospect in the Pittsburgh chain (behind Gerrit Cole, Jameson Taillon and Polanco), #61 in all of baseball and as #6 in the SAL (between Gary Sanchez and Kyle Crick).
He made his winter league debut with the 2012-2013 Toros del Este, going 1 for 7 with a walk and 3 runs. In the summer of 2013, he cooled off considerably from 2012. He hit .281/.339/.444 with 8 triples in 92 games for the Bradenton Marauders and .255/.299/.380 in 35 games for the Altoona Curve. For the year, he had 27 doubles, 13 triples, 8 homers, 30 steals in 46 tries and 64 runs. He did field better, at .944. He tied Byron Buxton for third in the Florida State League in swipes. For the year, he was second in the Pirates chain in hits (138, 15 behind Matt Hague), first in triples (one over Taylor Lewis), 5th in steals but first in caught stealing. Baseball America rated him still as Pittsburgh's #6 prospect (between Nick Kingham and Reese McGuire), #76 in all of baseball and #13 in the Eastern League (between Eddie Rosario and Stephen Piscotty). He split the winter between the Toros (.235/.278/.235 in 6 G) and the Scottsdale Scorpions of the Arizona Fall League (.253/.294/.329 in 21 G).
With the 2014 Altoona Curve, the 21-year-old produced at a .280/.326/.442 clip with 25 steals in 36 tries, 12 triples and 11 home runs. He led the EL in triples (3 ahead of teammates Gift Ngoepe and Keon Broxton) and tied Broxton and Francisco Lindor for 7th in steals. He tied Broxton for 3rd in steals in the Bucco farm chain (behind Drew Maggi and Chase d'Arnaud) and led in triples for the third straight year. He hit .278/.409/.444 in 7 winter ball games for the Toros. Baseball America dropped him from their list of baseball's top 100 prospects, kept him at #6 in the Pirates chain (between Kingham and Josh Bell) and did not rate him as one of the top 20 in the EL as his stock was falling.
Moving to second base in 2015 with the Indianapolis Indians, he produced at a .263/.313/.387 clip in his AAA debut. He stole better (35-for-47) and remained a triples machine (12) for two positives. In the 2015 AAA All-Star Game, he replaced James Beresford at 2B for the IL with a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the 6th. He struck out against Ryan Buchter with two aboard to end the 7th. In the 9th, he singled off Jon Edwards with a 3-1 deficit, two on and none out. He came around to score the winning run on a single by similarly-named Tyler Henson. He was second in the 2015 International League in three-baggers (two behind Ben Gamel), tied Quintin Berry for the most steals and tied Jonathan Diaz and Jose Peraza for the most sacrifice hits (12). He led IL second basemen in fielding (.984), assists (352) and total chances (559) in a strong debut at that position. In the Bucco farm system, he was third in steals (behind Tito Polo and Broxton) and tied Broxton for the most triples. He hit .258/.281/.301 in semi-regular action for the Toros in winter ball. Baseball America rated him as the best athlete and fastest baserunner in the Pirates system.
Hanson opened 2016 with the Indianapolis Indians and was at a .288/.309/.398 batting line after 27 games. He got a brief call-up to the majors when Marte went on paternity leave. On May 16th, he made his MLB debut pinch-hitting for Jon Niese with a 6-2 lead in the 6th against the Atlanta Braves but struck out against Williams Perez. The next day, he pinch-hit for Juan Nicasio in the 5th with a 9-5 lead over the Braves and singled off Bud Norris. He came around to score his first MLB run on an Andrew McCutchen hit as part of a 21-hit Pirate attack that day. He hit .226 in 27 games, then in 2017 hit .193 in 37 games before being claimed off waivers by the Chicago White Sox on June 9th. In Chicago, he hit .231 in 69 games, with 4 homers and 10 RBIs. Following the season, he signed as a free agent with the San Francisco Giants. In 110 games in 2018, he hit .252 with 17 doubles, 5 triples, 8 homers and 39 RBIs. However, his OBP was shot by his inability to draw walks - just 9 against 71 strikeouts in 294 at-bats, resulting in an OPS+ of 93.