Matt Hague is a 25 year old 1b at AAA and will turn 26 this August. Hague hits and catches righty. Drafted first by Clevland, was then drafted by the Pirates out of OK St in 2008. Hague has followed a pretty straight path to where he is now. He split time in '08 between State College and A-. From there, he spent full seasons in A+ and AA.
So without further ado, a Mr. Matthew Hague breakdown.
In his first year in the system Hague showed signs of life. His 2008 totals included a .853OPS as well as 22BB and 33K. Hague also had a SLG% of .467 between two leagues, respectable for a just drafted player, along with good plate discipline. The point to be made in 2008, Hague played only 10 games at 1B, spending most of his time at 3B.
In 2009, Hague played at Lynchburg where he played all but 1 game at 1B. Defensively he made just 6 errors, and had a FLD% of .995. His bat took a slight step backwards in 2009. His OPS fell to .768, while his plate discipline stayed good, only 67K over 508PA, he also walked 40 times at A+. Unfortunately, power was never apart of Hague's game, as he hit just 8HRs with 30 doubles.
By 2010, Hague was the starting 1B at AA Altoona. His OPS back up to .817 over the entire season. Hague again played all but one game at 1b, where his defense slipped slightly, making 10 errors. His walks were up to 61, as he K'd just 62x, respectably at what many call the most difficult level to adjust to. He also cranked out 15HRs to tag along to another 30 2Bs.
So far this year at AAA, it looks like Hague has taken exception to the opportunity of being so close to the Majors. Blasting 8HRs already to this point in the season, showing that the power is there, if thats all it takes for him to get to the majors. No? Well then Hague can back his power output up with his consistent batting averages and good OBP (hitting .312avg .364OBP). Again his BB and K rates are solid, with 31Ks in 308PA.
This may be a prime opportunity to give Hague ABs. With two OF positions in limbo, you have: GJ, Diaz, XP, and Presley spliting time. With LF being open for any of Diaz, XP or Presley, Jones should see plenty of time in RF, or by putting on the thinking cap, it should mean he sees less time at 1B. So with less time for Jones at 1B, that leaves it primarily for Overbay. With the chance to use a DH for 3 games along with increased OF time for Jones, Hague could get plenty of playing time over the course of the next few weeks or so (this all barring Tabata going to the DL). Even 1 or 2 games a week at 1B would be good. If not, he gives us another RH bat off the bench, which currently is up to either Diaz, Wood or Fryer. Frankly, I think Hague could/would do better than at least two of those options.
What makes this more enticing is the fact that Overbay is 99% unlikely to be back next year, unless we feel the need to sign him again this offseason. That means the Pirates will need to fill the 1B position once again. Finding out if Hague could be that guy would be the right way to go. If not, I guess we see Hague in September, but even then he may get minimal playing time with players getting healthy (hopefully) and an expanded roster of other players getting playing time. What does Hague have left to prove in the minors? Has anyone seen him in action? Would it be worth it?