Thursday, February 09, 2006
Hanson in Memphis (mmm bop!)
Some information regarding Travis Hanson slipped by us in the last few weeks, or it just wasn't all that blog-worthy at the time. The 25-year-old third baseman will start the season with AAA Memphis this year (hat tip to the Springfield News-Leader). If you recall, Hanson's development was delayed a bit by a nasty broken ankle that caused him to miss most of the 2004 season. His line with AA Springfield last year was pretty solid: .284/.347/.458, 20 HR, 97 RBI, 54 BB, 99 K, 546 AB. Considered a particularly strong defender, he got off to a poor start in '05 due to little tentativeness with his ankle. He's blocked at 3B by Rolen for a couple years at least, if Rolen's health holds out. Depending on he performs in Memphis, it could be interesting to see what his future with the team is. Cribbing from some of the info over at the Birdhouse, Hanson played SS in college. Given his likely hitting stats in the majors, it would be difficult to justify him as a corner infielder anyway. However, as a second baseman, he might have much more value. Look for three possible scenarios this year for Hanson, figuring he assumes a normal course of development in AAA this year. One, he stays in Memphis, develops as a player, and makes a run in Spring '07 for a starting spot with the team (this track assumes the normal September call up). Second, he does well and joins the club as a utility infielder this year. Finally, he does well in Memphis and get tossed into a deal Jocketty makes. With the flotsam and jetsam of Aaron Miles and Deivi Cruz behind the quasi-flotsam Junior Spivey, it's unlikely they'll need another keystoner (tee hee) this season. However, if this year's reclamation pick at second, Spviey, doesn't work out, there may be more of a case to search for a solution within the organization. I think we will be able to gleen much more insight once the season begins and we see how Hanson does in Jupiter and whether or not he plays 2B in Memphis. It merits watching.