Free agent infielder/outfielder Alen Hanson has reportedly agreed to a deal with the Giants, via Hanson’s personal announcement on his Instagram account. The signing has yet to be officially announced by the club.
Hanson, 25, split his sophomore season between the Pirates and White Sox in 2017. Through 234 plate appearances, he slashed a combined .221/.262/.346 with four home runs, 11 RBI and 11 stolen bases in 14 attempts. On the field, he spent most of his time at second base and the outfield corners, though he also logged several starts at third base, short, center field and DH.
According to Alex Pavlovic of NBC Sports Bay Area, the Giants are still searching far and wide for that elusive outfielder/slugger combo. They’re said to be in the mix for center fielder Billy Hamilton, but any potential deal has been stalled due to the Reds’ high asking price. Until then, Hanson could provide some speed and defensive depth in the corners, albeit with a bat that runs a little cooler than the Giants would prefer.
ESPN’s Keith Law has released his annual top-100 prospects list. According to Law, Braves outfielder Ronald Acuna is the number one prospect in baseball.
After blazing through High-A and Double-A ball last season, Acuna was the youngest player in Triple-A in 2017. He was 19 years-old all season long and put up a fantastic line of .335/.384/.534 in 486 plate appearances at Double and Triple-A. He then went on to star in the Arizona Fall League, leading that circuit in homers. Law, who is not one to throw hyperbolic comps around, says, “if Acuna stays in center and maxes out his power, he’s going to be among the best players in baseball, with a Mike Trout-ish profile.”
Acuna, who is 20 now, is likely play the bulk of the season in Atlanta, even if he’s kept down at Triple-A for the first couple of weeks of the season to manipulate his service time, er, I mean to allow him to develop his skills more fully. Or something. Given the presence of reigning Gold Glove center fielder Ender Inciarte, Acuna is not likely to man center for the Braves this year, but Law says he’d be a plus right field defender, which could make the Braves outfield Death to Flying Things in 2018. At least when Nick Markakis is not playing.
Number two on the list: Blue Jays third base prospect Vladimir Guerrero Jr. As law notes, the name may be familiar but he’s not very much like his old man. Mostly because young Vlad can take a walk. Which is better, even if it’s nowhere near as fun as swinging at balls that bounce in the dirt first.
For the other 98, you’ll have to click through.