I had literally no time to blog yesterday (I was in Boston and went to the Sox game!!!), so I’m making my Saturday column about the Red Sox’ top prospects today and here we go with Alex Hassan. Hassan is a guy who is going to hit for a high batting average for most of his life, but not a whole lot more than that. He is batting only .233 while playing every day for triple-A Pawtucket this year. However, he hit .291 last year with double-A Portland and his .287 average with Salem in 2010 was the lowest mark of his career.
According to SoxProspects.com, you can find Hassan’s prospect page right here, Hassan is a very smart hitter. He has a good swing and, for the most part, puts the bat on the ball– he had a 1.04 K/BB ratio last season, well above average, and those numbers are not uncommon for Hassan. He doesn’t have great contact skills, according to SoxProspects, but he has shown no sign of being unable to react to offspeed pitches. In fact, it’s been the fastballs– primarily on the inside part of the plate– that have been the problem for Hassan. He would be a good fit for the leadoff role, you’d think, but he does not have great speed. Despite that, he did manage to steal eight of ten bases last season for Portland. Hassan primarily plays left field and while not overly athletic, he does have a good arm out there, something severely lacking in Red Sox’ outfielders.
All things considered, Hassan could probably at least be a platoon player at the major league level. He has moved up the ranks of the minors very quickly since graduating from Duke University and is still only 24 years old. I wouldn’t count on seeing Hassan in the major leagues this season but with a few more injuries we could see him by next season probably. With none of the Red Sox outfielders except Carl Crawford locked up longterm, Hassan could make a big impact in a couple of years but it’ll probably be overshadowed by the fact that he’ll be acting in replacement of someone like Jacoby Ellsbury.