Top Prospect #50: Buzz Hannahan

<i>PhillyBaseballNews.com</i> presents our annual look at the Top 50 Prospects in the Phillies organization. Each day, we'll present another future Phillie to keep an eye on. Our list starts at number 50 and works its way up to number one. At number 50 on the list is Buzz Hannahan. If you're looking for versatility and a guy who will do whatever it takes to win, Hannahan is your guy.

Buzz Hannahan isn't slated to be a superstar. Instead, he's figured on as a guy who can play anywhere, will always play hard and can always find a way to help his team. Perhaps the biggest asset that Hannahan has is his attitude. He has come to terms with what he can and can't do. "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."

The Phillies took Hannahan in the 31st round of the '98 Draft. A draft that also brought the likes of much higher touted picks like Pat Burrell and Eric Valent. The '98 Draft is thought of as one of the strongest in the Phillies' history and Hannahan may have come later in the proceedings, but he was looked at as a guy that could help. Putting up solid minor league numbers and showing the ability to play anywhere and everywhere, Hannahan is delivering pretty much what the Phillies were hoping to see from him.

Hannahan is strongest when he's playing somewhere in the middle of the diamond and it just so happens that's where he enjoys playing. "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."

Level HR RBI AVG G AB R H 2B 3B SB BB KO OBP
Rookie 0 20 .274 55 197 38 54 6 1 14 42 31 .402
Class A 2 54 .251 180 573 95 144 23 1 45 81 93 .345
Class AA 6 49 .248 201 649 108 161 22 3 39 98 123 .357
Class AAA 0 20 .281 81 217 32 61 10 3 5 19 49 .357
Career 8 143 .257 517 1636 273 420 61 8 103 240 296 .351

Batting and Power: By his own admission, Hannahan will never hit 30 homeruns. He may not see that number even if you add up all of his homeruns when his major league career is over. The good news is that he doesn't try to hit homeruns. He's content doing what he can at the plate and he has a knack of finding ways to do big things at the plate. Hitting in tight spots isn't a problem for Hannahan; Instead, he seems to thrive in pressure situations.

Baserunning and Speed: Hannahan has good speed and knows how to use it. He has put up good stolen base percentage numbers in the minors - 79% - and that should continue when he reaches the majors. His numbers were down in 2004, but only because he was hitting lower in the order and didn't have the opportunities. Being a smart player, Hannahan simply fit into the role he was given and didn't try to do things that could have wound up hurting the club.

Defense: Hannahan has good range and can play all over the diamond. He's best suited to the middle-infield spots, but is no slouch at the corners. He is an asset defensively and is a hard-nosed type of player.

Projection: It doesn't figure that Hannahan will ever be a superstar. He may not even be a regular position player in the majors, but he can help a club both at the plate and defensively.

ETA: The Phillies have their bench pretty well set for 2005 and it doesn't figure that Hannahan will find a major league spot. He is ready to battle for a spot though and will be an able fill in if the Phillies run into some injury problems.

Comparison: There have been some comparisons to Frank Cattalanotto and Mark McLemore. Both of those players have more power than Hannahan does, but Hannahan also has their attitude and the ability to make things happen on the field. Another comparison that Phillies fans may be able to relate to is Rex Hudler. This is a kid that will be a welcome addition to the Phillies roster if he's ever given the chance.


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