Over at Baseball America, Tim Coulter of Pittsburgh asked Jim Callis "Who will be the next Pirates prospect to break out?" To no one's surprise, Jim nominated Alen Hanson, describing him as a "a legitimate prospect and a terrific breakout candidate." Right now Hanson is hitting 0.400 with isolated power of 0.400 as well.
The good folks over at Pirates Prospects agree. A piece over there offers four glowing appraisals from several writers: Callis, Mayo, Goldstein, and Sickels. There's broad agreement that Hanson's arm will not play at shortstop in the majors, but he's very athletic.
Now 61 plate appearances does not a season make, but there were flashes last year in the GCL. Hanson had an OPS+ of 127, isolated power of 0.167, and stole 25 bases. His average was just 0.264, but that was with a remarkably low BABIP (given his speed) of 0.311.
For me it was Callis's assessment of other players that was most encouraging: "My top breakout picks among pitchers aren't off to scintillating starts at West Virginia, but keep an eye on righthander Nick Kingham and lefty Zack Dodson." Not news, but nice to see confirmation.
From what I see, WV is filled with real prospects. Who's your favorite candidate to break out?