A Sox fan's look at Moss and Hansen

Don't know how welcome this will be; I've been watching Brandon Moss and Craig Hansen for the last couple/few years. They've definitely formed some impressions on me, and maybe these would be helpful to you in looking at your new players.

Best of luck to Moss and the Pirates. However, it's a little sad to see him in another uniform.

Brandon Moss. SoxProspects Profile. 


Moss is a corner OF, as you well know, has always played a quality LF and RF when he's been up with the Sox. His arm is good enough to make runners think twice about going 1st to 3rd and going home on a shallow fly to RF or LF, though he's probably not going to draw Vlad Guerrero comparisons. He can play either corner well, in my opinion, and if Steven Pearce (a 1B-convert) is going to be out there with him, Moss should probably be given the harder corner in left field and prove himself capable. 


Moss's ceiling never seemed that high to me. His upside is probably Trot Nixon circa 2001-2004 (OPS+: 128, 110, 149, 123). Nixon was never really given a chance to figure LHPs out at the ML-level, which is a choice the Pirates will have to make. Platoon him, and he'll probably hit RHPs well enough to start 130-140 games a year with solid production. Give him a chance against LHPs, and maybe he'll figure them out to the point of not being just a platoon OF. Despite my first sentence, he could hang around as a starting OF for the Pirates if given the opportunity. He has the tools to do so, even if he'll probably never be an All-Star.

Unfulfilled potential, thy name is Craig.

Craig Hansen. SoxProspects Profile.

Bad News First:

Hansen seems like the classic million dollar arm w/ ten cent head. He's never met a PA he couldn't turn into a 3-0 or 3-1 count, and he's prone to walks (4.91 per 9). The Sox have tried to straighten out his mechanics (which have been described as an injury waiting to happen), and in so doing straightened out his fastball and taken some bite off his slider. He was encouraged to resume his normal pitching motions recently. I've not often seen him throw his slider for strikes; it's a chase pitch for him most of the time, so his fastball command needs to be very good in order to be effective. I struggle to envision a scenario in which he's consistent enough to enjoy prolonged success in MLB.

The Good News:

The slider is a bonefide out-pitch when everything's going well. Consistency and command for Hansen could lead to him being a top 5 closer in the majors. He's flashed some of that potential with the Sox, and there are several outings in which he seemed to be the Sox best RP aside from Papelbon. He's probably the part the Sox sent to the Pirates that could be most missed, as his impact as a potential shutdown RP could be huge.

In Closing:

These two could be very useful cogs on the Pirates ML roster for the next several seasons. My feeling is that Moss will succeed, and Hansen will either become your best RP or be close to out of the game in the next couple seasons. I'll be rooting hard for both to succeed either way.

This is a FanPost and does not necessarily reflect the views of the managing editor (Charlie) or SB Nation. FanPosts are written by Bucs Dugout readers.

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