Alex Hassan's stay with the Oakland A's in November lasted all of three days. Perhaps his second time in the system will go a little longer.
The A's claimed Hassan off of waivers from the Boston Red Sox on November 17. Oakland then designated Hassan for assignment on November 20 to make room for third baseman Renato Nunez on the 40-man roster. Hassan was subsequently claimed by the Baltimore Orioles. He remained in their organization until Wednesday, when the Orioles designated him for assignment. To make room for Hassan on the A's roster, Oakland placed A.J. Griffin on the 60-day DL. Griffin is recovering from Tommy John surgery.
As I wrote back in November, "Hassan is a right-handed hitting outfielder who is known as one of the most patient hitters in the minor leagues. The Duke alum was a 20th round draft pick of the Red Sox in 2009. In five minor league seasons with the Red Sox, Hassan has a career .396 OBP and 304 walks in 587 games. He has also limited his strike-outs, whiffing just 397 times.
Hassan rose through the Boston system fairly quickly, reaching Triple-A as a regular player by 2012. Injuries limited him to just 94 games in 2012 and 63 games in 2013, but he was able to appear in 114 games in 2014 at the Triple-A level. He hit .287/.378/.426 for Triple-A Pawtucket. Hassan made his major-league debut in 2014, collecting one hit in eight at-bats."
Hassan told MASN earlier this off-season that he had surgery to repair a sports hernia in November. He reported to camp healthy, however.
Hassan has an excellent arm and was a pitcher, as well as an outfielder, in college. His lack of foot speed limits him to the corner outfield spots, however. Hassan played a few games at first base last season, as well, and could get some looks there, in addition to the outfield.
As a right-handed hitter, Hassan will compete with Rule 5 pick Mark Canha, former Duke teammate Nate Freiman and non-roster invitee Jason Pridie for a spot on the A's roster. Hassan has an option year remaining, so the A's can send him back to Triple-A, unlike Canha. Hassan's strength as a hitter lies with his patience and bat control, whereas both Canha and Freiman's strength is their power. Pridie is the only one of the four who can play centerfield. He is also the only left-handed hitter in the group.
As I wrote earlier this week in the A's outfield depth chart article, Oakland was relatively thin on outfield prospects with Triple-A experience. The addition of Hassan should help that area, at the very least.
An interview with Alex Hassan during the 2011 Arizona Fall Leauge