Alen Hanson, SS, Pirates (Low-A West Virginia): 3-for-5, 3 R, K, 2 SB

At some point it’s a hot start, and at some point it’s talent, and in Hanson’s case it’s both. Just 19 years old, Hanson was expected to play in the short season leagues this year after a good showing in the Gulf Coast League earned him the No. 17 ranking in the system, but he earned a full-season assignment and hit .410/.441/.695 during the season’s first month. Hansen’s raw hitting ability is impressive, but he also shows surprising pop for his size, profiling as a future doubles machine, and he’s a 60-65 runner as evidenced by his ten stolen bases. He doesn’t have the instincts or arm to stay on the left side of the infield, but even as a second baseman, he’s a intriguing player with top-of-the-order potential.

Others Of Note:

  • Andrew Brackman, RHP, Reds (Triple-A Louisville): 1 IP, 0 H, 3 R, 5 BB, 0 K. 34 pitches and just eight strikes as nothing is going right; 9.87 ERA in five starts.
  • Dylan Bundy, RHP, Orioles (Low-A Delmarva): 4 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 4 K. Proof that he’s not a cyborg; 17 IP, 1 H, 2 BB, 25 K.
  • Gerrit Cole, RHP, Pirates (High-A Bradenton): 6 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 6 K. Best start as a pro; 29 Ks in 23 innings with league hitting .202 against him.
  • Gerardo Concepcion, LHP, Cubs (Low-A Peoria): 0.2 IP, 7 H, 7 R, 1 BB, 0 K. Through two starts, the Midwest League is hitting .464 against him.
  • Cito Culver, SS, Yankees (Low-A Charleston) 3-for-4, 2B, R, RBI, SB. Seven hits and 13 total bases in last three games to lift OPS nearly 200 points; .238/.351/.313 in 21 games.
  • Travis D’Arnaud, C, Blue Jays (Triple-A Las Vegas): 3-for-5, R. Slow start looks like a thing of the past; batting average up 100 points during 10-game hitting streak to .282/.354/.424.
  • Reymond Fuentes, OF, Padres (Double-A San Antonio): 2-for-4, 2B, R, RBI. Plus center fielder with speed and line drive bat; batting average up 52 points during seven-game hitting streak and .298/.366/.429 overall.
  • Avasail Garcia, OF, Tigers (High-A Lakeland): 2-for-4, HR (3), 2 R, 2 RBI, K. Are the massive tools finally clicking? .400/.440/.565 in 21 games.
  • Conor Gillaspie, 3B/1B, Giants (Triple-A Fresno): 3-for-5, 2 2B, R, RBI. Obviously no room in the big leagues for him but among the hottest hitters around; 17-for-34 in last eight games and .341/.404/.471 overall.
  • Jedd Gyorko, 2B, Padres (Double-A San Antonio): 2-for-4, RBI, K. Heating up with move to second base that could get him to big leagues quicker; third straight two-hit game and .261/.376/.391 overall.
  • Adeiny Hechavarria, SS, Blue Jays (Triple-A Las Vegas): 2-for-4, HR (1), 2 R, 4 RBI, BB. Las Vegas certainly helps, but there has been real progress with the bat; .311/.357/.443 in 24 games.
  • Brendan Jacobs, OF, Red Sox (High-A Salem): 2-for-5, 2 2B, R, RBI, 2 K. Aggressive approach has hurt him early; .262/.311/.381 in 20 games with 28 strikeouts.
  • Tommy Joseph, C/1B, Giants (Double-A Richmond): 3-for-4, 2B, 2 HR (3), 2 R, 3 RBI. If he’s not a catcher, he’s going to need to really hit; .257/.291/.446 in 18 games.
  • Matt LaPorta, 1B, Indians (Triple-A Columbus): 2-for-3, 2 HR (8), 2 R, 2 RBI, BB, K. With Casey Kotchman doing nothing, don’t be so sure that LaPorta is out of chances; .380/.451/.759 in 21 games.
  • Henry Owens, RHP, Red Sox (Low-A Greenville): 4 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 3 BB, 7 K. First outing with strikeouts and dominance; 7.85 ERA but 36 strikeouts in 18.1 innings.
  • Daniel Rosenbaum, LHP, Nationals (Double-A Harrisburg): 7 IP, 6 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 5 K. 23 innings without an earned run in last three starts; all you can do with pitchers like this is keeping moving them up, and it’s time for Rosenbaum to move up.
  • Miguel Sano, 3B, Twins (Low-A Beloit): 2-for-3, R, 2 RBI, BB, K. Hasn’t gone deep in 11 games but still hitting; .276/.422/.586 in 25 games.
  • Will Swanner, C. Rockies (Low-A Asheville); 2-for-3, 2B, R. The good news is he can really hit, as evidenced by his .352/.417/.630 line in 15 games. The bad news is he’s a bad catcher with four errors and two passed balls in 15 games while allowing 27 stolen bases and gunning down just three.
  • Oscar Taveras, OF, Cardinals (Double-A Springfield): 2-for-3, 2B, R, RBI, BB. A rare minor league intentional walk; 10-for-22 with 21 total bases during six game hitting streak and .340/.374/.670 overall.
  • Kolbrin Vitek, 3B, Red Sox (Double-A Portland): 2-for-4, HR (1), R, 2 RBI. 2010 first-round pick has not lived up to expectations; .268/.317/.351 in 24 games.

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A hit AND a walk for Bundy and only four Ks in four innings? Should Orioles fans start panicking or was this just a blip?
If Garcia manages to go .300/.350/.500 for the season, where does he rank as a prospect by the end of the year? Given the tools, top 50? Even higher?
I have no idea how to answer that. Depends on what the scouts say.
Can Gyorko actually handle 2B? I thought I heard some mixed reviews.
This is what I'm wondering too. Over on Padres Prospects the early report from an evaluator was "meh". Which honestly was more encouraging than I would have expected.
I'm not optimistic about it.

Do you think Travis D'Arnaud spends the entire season in AAA with a call up in September or could he get the call earlier than that especially if Arencibia continues to struggle?
I miss Jaff Decker.
Avisail Garcia has only walked three times. Is this indicative of his approach (impatient) or is he connecting with hittable pitches? Or both?
He walked 3.8% of the time in 2010, 3.5% in 2011, and is drawing walks at a 3.3% rate this year. Dude likes to swing the bat.
KG, what are you hearing about Tommy Joseph's D? I've seen him a couple of times and he hasn't looked bad behind the plate, but obviously that's the smallest of sample sizes. Are scouts saying he won't stick back there, or is it just that there's no future for him as a C in the Giants org?
You're right he's not that bad behind the plate, but I do think the Giants are hedging their bets here.
A question for Cubs followers. (Connected to nothing written here but where else am I going to ask?) Cardenas is having a nice April in Iowa (ah, April in Iowa). Any read/feel for his chances of getting a shot at Ian Stewart's job? Glove-y enough? How's the impatience meter looking at 3B up there? Any responses appreciated.
And on Gillaspie --- how's about a AAA Bay trade? Taylor, Cowgill or Mitchell plus a Norberto/De Los Santos type for an actual third baseman-who-could-matter and the obligatory young-undervalued-arm?
Any truth to the rumor that Oscar Taveras is going to get his own daily, personal Future Shock page soon? This is the fourth time he's appeared here in the last two weeks.
Avasail Garcia is giving me hope as a prospect thin Tigers fan - a team which did come up with Boesch, Avila, Raburn, Casper Wells, Jack Hannahan and a few others from out of the blue. When a team frequently comes up with players who outperform the consensus of respectable prospect projections (either batters or pitchers or both) how much of that is due to:
a) some organizations are better at developing talent and that organizational strength is not generally taken into account by the "online scouts"
b) some organizations know something Baseball America, Sickels, yourself, etc. do not about who is going to develop.
c) some organizations are just on a lucky streak and that these tendencies will even out over time.
d) something else, namely _____ [fill in the blank].
There's room for Gillaspie now ... Sandoval out with a hand injury ... so ... we'll see!