The Pittsburgh Pirates begin a 4 game series with the Atlanta Braves Monday at PNC Park.
With Pirates left fielder Starling Marte officially on maternity leave after the birth of his daughter Tiana, the team has called up infielder/outfielder Alen Hanson from the Indianapolis Indians. Marte is only expected to be out one to three games so expect Hanson’s first stint in the major leagues to be brief.
At AAA Indy, Hanson has started 15 games at his natural position of second base, 2 games at third base and 10 games in left field. This season was the first time Hanson has played the outfield since 2010. That however was in the Dominican Summer League, when he appeared in 10 games.
Hanson signed with the Pirates back in 2009 as an international free agent. Back in 2013, he was rated the fifth best prospect in the Pirates organization. Over time his stock has fallen due to lack of concentration which has led to clashes with Pirates’ management. As of now, Hanson is the 11th rated prospect in the Pirates.
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In 2016, he has hit .288 with 2 home runs and 10 RBIs. Hanson will bring great versatile the Pirates lineup in his brief stay with the club since he is a switch hitter. He is also a threat on the base paths, stealing 7 bases so far this season after stealing 35 the previous season in Indianapolis.
This shouldn’t be the only time we see Hanson with the Pirates in 2016. His versatility and speed will keep him on the short list of potential call ups the rest of the season. At the latest we will see Hanson again in September when the rosters are expanded to 40 men.
The Braves are the worst team going right now in the major leagues so it will be no surprise if Hanson plays well in his call up.