Name: Jacob Hannemann, OF
Age: 23 (4/29/1991)
How acquired:—Drafted in the third round in 2013, #75 overall, out of Brigham Young University. Scouted by Steve McFarland.
Kane County, Midwest League, Low A (88 G, .254/.321/.377, 6 HR, 31 RBI, 32 SB);
Daytona Cubs, Florida State League, High A (36 G, .241/.299/.345, 2 HR, 12 RBI, 5 SB)
Prior to Cubs
A two-star prep standout at Lone Peak High School in Highland, Utah, the left-handed hitting outfielder was selected in the 48th round by the Royals in 2010 but instead of turning pro he served two years in the Arkansas Little Rock Mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. A two-sport athlete at BYU on a football scholarship, Hannemann redshirted in 2012 playing as a member of the scout team and was listed on the 2013 depth chart as the backup cornerback. Hannemann started 51 games for the Cougars on the diamond in 2013, hitting .344/.415/.553 after not playing baseball for two years. He swiped 14 bases with five homers and 29 RBI. He ended the season with a 10-game hitting streak and had a season-high four hits against Kris Bryant’s San Diego team on March 14. Hannemann worked out for the Cubs on June 3 at Wrigley before the draft.
After signing a reported $1 million bonus, the Cubs third-round pick made his pro debut for Boise on June 21 (1-for-5 with double), playing in 11 games (.280/.294/.480) before landing on the DL July 3. He went to Mesa for three games of rehab and returned to Boise July 23, but only played three more games before another trip to the DL ended his season with wrist and ankle injuries. The 22-year-old only got 74 plate appearances in his first pro season but showed his speed in the field and on the bases. He returned to participate in the fall instructs and won the Cubs home run derby.
The keys to 2014 were staying healthy and getting as many trips to the plate as possible—he played in 124 games between two levels and recorded 545 plate appearances. Hannemann started the year in Kane County, hitting leadoff and playing center. He showed some of the power the Cubs are hoping he develops with six long balls, although one was an inside-the-park variety. He added five triples, 14 doubles, and swiped 32 bags in 36 attempts, igniting the Cougars’ offense the first-half of the season and into July. He made his Florida State League debut on July 26 against St. Lucie with three hits, two runs and a stolen base. Appearing in 36 games in Daytona, he collected 11 multi-hit games and ended year leading all Cubs minor leaguers with 37 steals. The only extended time Hannemann missed in 2014 was a five-game suspension for bumping an umpire after a questionable call on the bases while at Kane County in early July. Getting as much experience as possible, the Cubs sent Hannemann to the Arizona Fall League, where he played in 17 games, hitting .279/.328/.410 in 61 at-bats.
Hannemann should start the year in Myrtle Beach and could reach AA by season’s end, depending on what happens in the upper levels above him. His best tool is his speed which suits him well not only on the bases but on defense, as he get to balls quickly, which makes up for an average to below-average arm. His ticket to the big leagues will be his ability to hit quality pitching and consistently get on-base. He does a good job of spraying his base hits to all fields and shows most of his power to the pull side. Cubs think Hannemann will continue to develop as he learns the game, and has the tools to become a big leaguer. Despite his age, Hannemann is still young as far as baseball experience, so how fast he’s moved along in the system will be something to watch for. With his first full season under his belt and more experience in the Arizona Fall League, looking forward to seeing what Hannemann has in store for 2015.