Getting To Know: Jack Hannahan

On Monday, the Oakland A's acquired third baseman Jack Hannahan from the Detroit Tigers. On Tuesday, the A's selected Hannahan from Triple-A Sacramento and sent down J.J. Furmaniak. With Eric Chavez on the DL, Hannahan figures to see some playing time in Oakland. Scout.com's Detroit Tigers' site, TigsTown.com, gives us some background on the newest Oakland Athletic.

Jack Hannahan
Position: Third Baseman
Height: 6-2 Weight: 200
Born: 3/4/1980
Bats: Left Throws: Right

Background

Hannahan was selected by the Detroit Tigers in the third round of the 2001 amateur draft out of the University of Minnesota. One of the top collegiate infielders in the nation during his final year at Minnesota, Hannahan was immediately dubbed the third baseman of the future in Detroit when he was selected.

Hannahan lived up to expectations during a debut season that saw him hit .311 over two levels, ending the season with West Michigan. In 2002, Jack split his time between Lakeland and Erie, continuing to move quickly, on his way to Detroit. However, Hannahan struggled in 2003 (680 OPS at Double-A) and had to repeat at Double-A in 2004. He reached Triple-A in 2005 and posted a 724 OPS in a campaign limited by injuries. In 2006, he improved offensively for Triple-A Toledo, batting .282 with a 791 OPS and he made a brief appearance in the major leagues with Detroit. Hannahan was batting .295 with an 898 OPS for the Toledo Mud Hens in 2007 at the time of the trade.

Scouting Report
Hannahan's calling card throughout his professional career has been his top-notch defense. The combination of soft hands, good footwork, great instincts, and a strong arm make for a very formidable defensive player. Jack moves well at third, staying under control at all times.

Hannahan's defensive package has been Major League caliber for several seasons, but his bat has yet to catch up. At the plate, Jack has a very consistent, line drive swing that doesn't generate much power. He can drive the ball from gap to gap, but struggles to pull the ball with authority, and is often overpowered by plus fastballs. When Jack becomes conscious of his relatively weak hitting style, he tends to over swing, trying to drive the ball over the fence, at the expense of contact.

His strike zone judgment is solid, and has improved as he has matured as a player. Coming into the 2007 season, for a corner infield prospect, Hannahan's bat was significantly lacking. However, he has a career-best .476 SLG percentage this season (and a .422 OBP) which includes a career-high 13 homeruns. He was on-pace to smash his career-high in doubles, as well.

In His Own Words: Jack Hannahan Quotes
From an article on Hannahan that appeared on TigsTown.com in 2006

On A Refined Approach At The Plate
"The biggest difference is I'm turning my hips more into the swing than I was before and it seems to be giving me more power. I really worked hard in the off season on it to get prepared for this year and I think it's paying dividends so far."

On Being Asked To Play Other Positions [First and Second] Besides His Natural Third Base
"At first it was disappointing. I've played third base all of my career. There was a learning curve there, never playing either position before, but I was just glad to be back [in Triple-A] in any capacity to be honest and now I really don't have a problem with it."


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