Could Alex Hassan Platoon In 2015?

alex hassanIt is rare for such a late pick like Alex Hassan to pay off (20th round pick in 2009), but Hassan might be one of those rare cases. A local product who was actually drafted as a pitcher out of Duke, Boston decided it was better for him to play the outfield based off of a strong performance in the Cape Cod League.
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On Friday September 12, the Paw Sox played a long game and finally won after 13 innings. Most players in the starting lineup registered six or even seven at-bats — Alex Hassan had none. Coming out of the game in the ninth, Hassan was 0-for-0 drawing four walks before he was replaced by a pinch runner — Derrik Gibson.

Despite going just 1-for-7 in a pair of big league games while striking out five times, it still managed to be a turning point in Hassan’s career.
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Known for his plate discipline, the 26-year-old Milton native and BC High graduate has a BB/K ratio of 0.68 not including the playoffs while hitting .328 in 256 at-bats since being sent back down to the Minors after his stint in Boston. Before that, Hassan was hitting just .217 in 152 at-bats for the Paw Sox.

Still though, on the year, Hassan owns an impressive slash line against southpaws of .333/.418/.508 in 120 at-bats with an almost unheard of .927 OPS which includes the dreary months of April and May. Since June, his numbers would be even better, but it goes to show no matter what he mashes lefties.

Hassan would compliment Daniel Nava who struggles against lefties perfectly. Nava who is hitting just .158/.200/.193 with a dreary .393 OPS off southpaws in 57 at-bats this year would be better off if he faced zero lefties in a season. His .289/.371/.384 slash line versus righties however is a different story.
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With Jonny Gomes out of the picture, Alex Hassan has a great opportunity to make the 2015 Red Sox roster as a platoon outfielder. The only drawback here is that Hassan lacks power (eight homeruns in 408 at-bats), but he does get on base (.378 OBP) and gets on base a lot.

His closest competition for the job is fellow Paw Sox teammate Bryce Brentz who is a completely breed of player. He owns an unreal 1.039 OPS off southpaws in 73 at-bats this year. Still though, either way the Red Sox make get a platoon player for $0.5 million, one-tenth of what veteran slugger Jonny Gomes makes a year making it the ultimate win-win situation for Boston.

Alex Hassan: Next Red Sox Platoon Player?

alex hassanWhen the Boston Red Sox called up outfielder Alex Hassan from Pawtucket, he was hitting just .217 with a respectable .316 OBP. After recording a hit in two games totaling seven at-bats, Boston sent him back down to Rhode Island. Since getting the boot, Hassan looks hungry for another taste of the show. Raising his average up to .280 and OBP up to an impressive .372, Hassan is a legitimate call-up option for the Red Sox.
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As of late, Hassan is what the Spanish like to call “en fuego” (literally meaning “on fire”). Over his past 29 games, Hassan is hitting .367 and .415 in his last ten. Perhaps the most intriguing part of his game is his splits. Like Johnny Gomes, Alex Hassan is a lefty killer. In 85 at-bats against southpaws, Hassan is hitting .341 with a .418 OBP while clipping a pair of homeruns. Compare this to a .250 average and a ,350 OBP against 75% of pitchers who throw with their right hand.
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Although the .250 average is not great against righties, it is definitely a valuable asset to have someone who can clobber lefties on a big league club. With this being said, perhaps he could make a nice platoon partner for Daniel Nava in 2015 while occasionally playing first base. Of course the Red Sox outfield is already set for the 2015 season, but things could change, potentially giving Hassan a shot next year. Alex Hassan is not the veteran with a well-known beard that Jonny Gomes is, but he is a talented player nonetheless.
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Every good team needs at least one bat off the bench who can tear the cover off the ball when there is a lefty on the mound, and Boston is no exception. Assuming Jonny Gomes is either dealt this month or not re-signed, Boston will need another one. Alex Hassan,  who is already on the 40-man roster, is the perfect man for the job and would earn the league minimum, giving Boston more money to work with. Instead of paying an established veteran $5 million a year, why not pay Hassan $0.5 million to do the same thing?