Solution in Left Field: Alex Hassan?

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The Baltimore Orioles designated outfielder Alex Hassan for assignment yesterday and he could be one possible answer to the Blue Jays’ question in the outfield with Michael Saunders getting injured.

 

 

While we won’t know for a couple more day (players have three days to clear waivers), Hassan might be a tantalizing piece to a puzzle and could add outfield depth for a club that badly needs it. He’s not a perfect fit, being a right-handed hitter for a team that has a need for left-handed bats but there’s a lot Hassan could offer.

 

Hassan, who will be 27 on April 1, has been an above average hitter throughout his minor league career since being drafted in the 20th round of the 2009 draft out of Duke University (the same school that Marcus Stroman went to). He’s only had nine big league plate appearances, so we can’t read much into his track record but if we look at what he’s been able to do in the minor leagues, we can see that there’s a lot to like for a player who could possibly add more than replacement level value to the Blue Jays while Michael Saunders recovers.

 

Hassan’s biggest asset is his bat and eye at the plate. He’s hit at least .282 at every level of baseball throughout his career with the exception of the Dominican Winter League and the Arizona Fall League. He’s also had an incredible ability to take a walk, walking in at least 12.7% of at bats at every level above A-ball. He has a little bit of power but he won’t kill the ball and doesn’t have a ton of speed but he gets on base, something that the Blue Jays could certainly use. His OBP in 1082 plate appearances in Triple-A is .387 and he’s slugged at a .411 mark over that time.

 

There are a couple of other bonuses to picking up Hassan. While he will need to be put on the 40-man roster, the Jays have only four outfielders there now and one (Saunders) will probably go on the 60-day DL. Additionally, Hassan still has minor league options so that if he doesn’t fit with the current squad, he can be sent down without being exposed to waivers again.

 

Hassan was actually DFA’ed by the Red Sox and claimed by Oakland on November 17th and then DFA’ed him again only to have the Baltimore Orioles put in a claim. When the Orioles signed Everth Cabrera yesterday, they designated Hassan again. The Jays have two more days to put in a claim.

 

The native of Quincy, Massachusetts could be a valuable addition to the Jays’ system for at least the first half of 2015 if he can put on a good showing in spring training. Is he worth taking a flyer on? I think so. Do you?

 

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