Utility man Alen Hanson has been one of the few bright spots in the anemic Giants’ offense this season, providing a spark with his combination of power and athleticism. A former five-tool prospect out of the Dominican Republic, Hanson, 25, has been solid in his first season with the Giants, posting a slash line of .262/.286/.449 with eight home runs in 98 games. But Hanson has started infrequently as of late, a curious development with the Giants no longer in contention for a playoff spot, and Hanson as one of the apparent young bring spots.
Giants broadcaster Mike Krukow attempted to clear up the confusion when he joined Murph & Mac on Wednesday, explaining that Hanson is not a lock to make the team next year, largely because of issues with his focus.
“I don’t think anybody is a lock for next year, I think it’s at that point right now,” Krukow began. “In regards to Alen Hanson, he’s a five-tool guy. Well why hasn’t he been in the big leagues prior to this? He’s 25-years old with eight years experience, and he hit .280 his whole career in the minor leagues. With all those tools why has it taken him so long? Now that we’ve seen him, I think he loses concentration on the field.
“I think there was a situation last night when you had a ground ball hit when he was loading up on the left side of the infield, he was playing second base but he was on the shortstop’s side. He got the ball and he didn’t hurry the play and (the baserunner) beat it out. They put pressure on him and it forced him to make a high throw, and those are little things that he needs to tighten his act up if he expects to be a utility player for next year.
“He needs to get into the flow of the game. He has to be able to anticipate that his opponent in that batter’s box has great speed, and ‘If the ball comes to me I have to pick up the pace.’ I mean I’ve seen him make that mistake a bunch of times and that has to change. So I think he’s a gifted player in a lot of ways, but he needs to start showing it in a more consistant way. There has to be some urgency to his game.
“If you’re going to count on him to be part of your 25-man team when they break from camp in April, that has to get better.”
Listen to the full interview below. To hear Krukow on Hanson, start from 6:10.