Hanson and Gregory Polanco were the Pirates big breakout prospects back in 2012. They both followed a similar track in 2013, finishing up in the Eastern League. Hanson was considered a good enough prospect at second base that the Pirates didn't hesitate to part with Dilson Herrera, still in the South Atlantic League at the time, for Marlon Byrd in an August waiver deal. Herrera broke out in 2014 and made the majors before Hanson, but Hanson is still a potential major-league contributor for the Pirates as soon as 2016. The power he flashed in West Virginia in 2012 hasn't shown up since, and he's best suited to second base, but there is still a broad offensive skill base here that could make him a useful, if not spectacular regular.
I promise not to reminisce about a semi-obscure ex-Mets-prospect every Friday, but Urbina's failure is instructive on the Mets current philosophy internationally. The son of Ugueth, Juan was given a seven figure bonus is 2009 based on his bloodlines and the hope he would grow into his slim, 6-foot-2 frame. I have a buddy who covers the Appy who swears he touched 95 there, but by the time I saw him in Brooklyn, he was sitting in the mid-80s. My last look at him was in 2014 in Brooklyn, his fifth summer in short-season ball. He was still throwing 85-86 and looked like a guy pitching through an undiagnosed shoulder issue. He was let go this past offseason, and the Mets haven't spent more than $275,000 on an IFA arm since. They've actually had great success with low-six-figure guys (Marcos Molina, Rafael Montero) or older signings (Hansel Robles) since. As for Urbina, he is somehow only 22, though it feels I have been writing about him forever.
Others of Note
Frazier started to put his ample tools on the field this year in the Carolina League after a mediocre full-season debut in 2014. The swing-and-miss was slightly more manageable, and the bat speed is still obvious. I still hear concerns about his pitch recognition, but a 2016 Eastern League assignment, and the better breaking balls that come with it, should give us better insight into what kind of major-league profile is in the offing here.
I like Quinn, but he's never played more than 88 games in a season. There was a broken wrist in 2013, a torn Achilles the following offseason, and then a hip flexor issue this year. When he plays he is blindingly fast and has adjusted well to his move from shortstop to the outfield. I just worry that the injuries may start to eat into the tools. I hope not, though, because he is a true 80 runner and has enough hit tool to make that a real weapon on both offense and defense.
I will probably continue to sneak in my favorite current fringy Mets prospects, though. McNeil is a fun one. He is a wiry dude who is maybe 150 pounds soaking wet, but he has some natural bat-head control and a pretty, rotational swing due to his background as a very good high school golfer. He had never gotten a chance to play much shortstop in the Mets organization, as he was on the same teams as Gavin Cecchini and Amed Rosario. I did catch him in St. Lucie this year at short while Rosario was nursing an injury, and it's actually pretty impressive. The arm probably keeps him from being an everyday guy there, but the profile was never really that of a regular anyway, and he can handle it well enough to give him some potential flexibility as a bench infielder if the bat continues to develop.
Vasquez was a guy I liked some in the NY-Penn League, but a trade to the Astros took him well off my radar. He looked very comfortable at the plate as an 18-year-old facing off against college arms, but it was a bat-only profile in a corner, and you were betting on some swing tweaks to get enough power to make that work. Wilson has seen him plenty this year, and the returns on that are not encouraging.
J.P. Crawford, SS, Philadelphia Phillies (Glendale Desert Dogs) DNP
Crawford's time in Arizona has been cut short by a torn ligament in his thumb. The expectation seems to be that he will be ready for spring training, so I feel like I still have the go ahead to argue for him to be really, really high on our 2016 Top 100.
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