Top Prospect #39: Bryan Hansen

In the 2001 Draft, the Phillies were looking to add to their talent at the corner infield positions. To do that, they drafted third baseman Terry Jones in the fourth round, first baseman Ryan Howard in the fifth round and another first baseman, Bryan Hansen in round six. Jones has battled injuries, Howard went on to win Rookie of the Year in the majors last season and Bryan Hansen is still trying to put it all together.

Bryan Hansen is still just 22 years old. He was drafted out of high school and the Phillies knew he would take some time to develop. They had fallen in love with his smooth, natural swing and believed that as he matured, he would develop more power and possibly become even more of a natural hitter. Over the last two seasons, Hansen has shown slightly more power, but nothing near what the Phillies had hoped for. His average has also not been where the Phillies thought he might be at this point in his development.

That's not to say that the Phillies have given up on Hansen and they shouldn't. He does have a good, natural swing and has excellent discipline at the plate. Hansen is one of those players that have all the pieces they need to be successful, but just haven't found a way to connect it all and become the player that they should be.

Bryan Hansen's Career Stats

'01 GCL 1 11 .243 30 111 9 27 2 0 1 10 21 .311
'02 GCL 1 28 .306 54 180 21 55 16 4 3 14 26 .360
'03 Lakewood 2 12 .200 55 175 11 35 6 0 5 20 44 .291
'03 Batavia 3 33 .214 67 248 29 53 18 4 4 30 45 .304
'04 Lakewood 9 59 .273 127 462 77 126 28 5 1 74 65 .374
'04 Clearwater 0 1 .300 3 10 1 3 1 0 0 1 2 .364
'05 Clearwater 8 38 .266 90 331 44 88 12 1 0 37 44 .346
Career 24 182 .255 426 1517 192 387 83 14 14 186 247 .340

Acquired: Drafted by the Phillies in the sixth round of the 2001 Draft out of Longwood High School (New York).

Batting and Power: Hansen is a natural hitter and showed a lot of power potential as a high school player. He hasn't been able to generate the power that was expected out of him and his average has been below where the Phillies had thought as well. Hansen does have good plate discipline and isn't afraid to make a pitcher work. Sometimes though, he runs deep into counts and pitchers can get him out on bad pitches. It's a case of possibly being too selective earlier in the count and not looking for something he can drive and going for it. When he was first drafted, there were a lot of scouts that thought in the long run, Hansen would be just as good and possibly better than Ryan Howard.

Baserunning and Speed: Although he doesn't have a lot of speed, Hansen can steal an occasional base and uses his instincts to occasionally challenge outfielders when he's a baserunner. Earlier in his career, Hansen thought he could be more of a base stealer than he likely could be and his overall stolen base percentage of 58% (14-for-25) isn't all that good. Now, he's more content to just try to get a good jump on the bases and not worry as much about trying to steal a base.

Defense: If the Phillies loved Hansen's swing, his defense was a close second. He's got good hands and can dive well for balls hit in the hole. He's put up pretty good fielding percentages in the minors.

Projection: It's been slow and steady for Hansen. The Phillies would like to have him pump up his numbers and start to move a little quicker. Keep in mind though that he would just be coming out of college had he accepted the invitation to play at West Virginia, so Hansen is still on pretty much of a learning curve. This is going to be an interesting season for Hansen. First, where will the Phillies put him? Another season at Clearwater is likely, but they could look to challenge him a little with a promotion to Reading, although that may be a stretch. Second, how does Hansen respond? If he's back at Clearwater, will he hand his head or make the most of it and if he's at Reading, how will he respond to the challenge? Hansen needs to put up about 12-15 homeruns and hit somewhere around a .270 average in 2006 or he'll risk becoming just another first baseman.

ETA: It's going to take a while, but since Hansen is just 22, he has some time. This is the season for him to start to put it all together though if he's going to blossom. It's likely that Hansen won't be mentioned much at the major league level until about 2009.

Comparison: A lot of scouts saw the same kind of natural swing in Hansen that they saw in players like Mike Schmidt and Scott Rolen, only from the left side of the plate. That's not to say that they ever thought he would equal the numbers of either of those two players, but his swing was so natural, it looked like Hansen could hit almost anything. Numbers wise, the Phillies probably thought they were getting another John Kruk type of player, but he hasn't shown that - yet.


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