Hannahan Comfortable In Arizona Fall League

Buzz Hannahan is a play anywhere, do whatever is needed to win kind of guy. If the Phillies were looking to see what he could do in 2004, they got an eye-full. Now, Hannahan has been rewarded with a trip to the Arizona Fall League and he's again doing whatever his team needs and responding well to the new challenge of playing among the elite minor league prospects.

Buzz Hannahan knows this game inside and out, he knows it from every angle, because he's seen it from every angle...this week. "I'm playing third today, that's where I've been the most, but they've had me at second, and at first. That was weird, I haven't been over there for awhile." That's in four games people, and he's yet to play two of his three favorite positions. "I like playing up the middle, short, second, and center field. I've got pretty good range and I think it sort of gets wasted on the corners."

Hannahan is having a strong Arizona Fall League season, young as that season may be. He's 5-for-14 (.357) with a walk, he's been hit by a pitch, and he's swiped one bag. Stolen bases are a key to Hannahan's success, but this season in Scranton he grabbed only five bases, down from the 25 steals he tallied in Reading the year before. "I was playing a lot against lefties, and hitting down in the order a lot this year," Hannahan responded when asked about the drop, "so the opportunities just weren't there as often. I like to run, but I am only going to run in situations where it makes sense. I had a left handed hitter behind me most of the time, and we wanted to keep that hole open on that side."

Hannahan's numbers were solid, but he only got 217 at bats this season. Was he frustrated at the lack of playing time? "You always want to play, but we had a lot of guys this season who were going to be free agents, and the organization needs to look at those guys so they can decide who to bring back. It was nice to get selected for the [Arizona Fall] League because it gives me more chances to show the club what I've got. It felt a little like I was being tested this year, and so I'm down here just to fine tune and improve."

For Hannahan it really is pretty simple. "By the time you get to this level you know what kind of player you're going to be. I'm not going to hit 30 homeruns, I'm going to be a guy who's ready to play anywhere, who's a tough out. Those are my assets, and that is how I can help the team."

Notes from Arizona: Ryan Howard didn't miss a beat. He leads the AFL in homeruns with three and RBI with nine and is second in hitting with a .483 average...Chris Roberson is coming back from a broken leg and looks healthy. He's just 2-for-9 (.222) in the early going, but has stolen a base for Phoenix. The Phillies are more concerned just about being sure that Roberson is healthy than seeing huge numbers from him...With four catchers on the Phoenix roster, Carlos Ruiz is struggling for playing time. He has gotten just five at bats with one hit for a .200 average...Keith Bucktrot threw three shutout innings in his lone start this fall. He struck out three, giving up two hits and no walks...Dan Giese has pitched in four of the six games. He has thrown five shutout innings with six strikeouts and has a 3.60 ERA. On the downside, he's allowed nine hits...The Phoenix Desert Dogs are 5-1 through their first six AFL games.

Editor's Note: James Renwick is the publisher of FutureBacks.com a web site dedicated to the Arizona Diamondbacks. He is also covering the Arizona Fall League for PhillyBaseballNews.com and other sites on the Scout.com network.

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