Acquired: 2012 MLB Draft, 33rd Round
Ranking History: #99, 2012
After a strong prep career, Hanover was a four-year standout for LSU, returning to school for his senior season after being selected by the Yankees in the 40th round in 2011.
The Tigers popped him as a senior sign in the 33rd round in 2012 and he debuted by overpowering Gulf Coast League pitchers with a 1.257 OPS in four complex league games. The Tigers quickly promoted him to short-season Connecticut where he posted a .269/.322/.347 line in 57 games.
With a need for a versatile infielder in High-A, the Tigers pushed Hanover aggressively to start this year, assigning him to the Florida State League right out of the gate. In 32 games so far Hanover has hit .279 with six doubles and more walks than strikeouts.
Hanover fits the bill as a classic small, grinder type. His listed height of 5-foot-7 may be a touch generous and he is only 170 pounds while wearing his cleats and full uniform. Despite his small stature, Hanover has good strength and fair athleticism.
A hard-nosed player, Hanover is the consummate makeup guy. He grinds out every at-bat, hustles down the line at all times, plays hard in the field and generally does everything managers at every level love.
He is a below-average to fringe-average runner turning in home to first times in the 4.48-4.57 range when I have seen him. He is a high-effort runner, making him look a little faster than he really is. Hanover can still steal some bases thanks to good jumps and his all-out style of play, but he won't ever steal more than 10-12 bases a year.
At the plate, Hanover is a tough out. He works counts very well and recognizes pitches with relative ease. He has enough strength in his upper body to knock solid line drives to all fields. He rarely walks, preferring to swing the bat and try to make things happen, but he also rarely strikes out. He doesn't project as a high-average hitter but he has some potential for a fringe-average hit tool.
Hanover lacks significant power and while he has decent strength for his size, he still doesn't have a ton of punch in his bat. He can hit line drives to the outfield but lacks the ability to really get after it and drive the ball to the gaps. His power approaches the bottom of the traditional 20-80 scouting scale and he shouldn't be expected to provide more than 10-12 doubles a season.
Defensively, Hanover maintains his grinder style of play. He can handle both third base and second base when necessary though his fringy arm plays better at the keystone. He plays aggressively in the field and has decent hands, allowing him to make most of the plays asked of him. He doesn't have the lateral quickness or instincts for shortstop. He has demonstrated an ability to shift between positions on a whim and he should profile as a utility fielder that may be capable of handling the outfield corners as well.
Hanover is not a Major League prospect but he should carve out a solid minor league career. His high-effort style of play will endear him to the developmental and coaching staffs and he should stick around as a decent organizational player.
Performance Level Team AB AVG 2B HR RBI SO BB OBP% SLG% A+
Hanover was healthy throughout his college career and has not experienced any injuries during his brief professional career.
Hanover's game is maxed out at this point. At nearly 24-years old he is not likely to see positive gains physically and as a result, his offensive and defensive tools are unlikely to change. At present, he can do a lot of things to help a minor league ball club and should be a quality organizational player, but he has almost no big league future.
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