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San Francisco Giants Biggest Surprises in 2018

Jake Mastroianni
PHOENIX, AZ - JULY 01: Nick Hundley #5 (R) of the San Francisco Giants high fives Derek Holland #45 after scoring against the Arizona Diamondbacks during the second inning of the MLB game at Chase Field on July 1, 2018 in Phoenix, Arizona. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
PHOENIX, AZ - JULY 01: Nick Hundley #5 (R) of the San Francisco Giants high fives Derek Holland #45 after scoring against the Arizona Diamondbacks during the second inning of the MLB game at Chase Field on July 1, 2018 in Phoenix, Arizona. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images) /
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SAN FRANCISCO, CA – SEPTEMBER 02: Alen Hanson #19 of the San Francisco Giants reacts after scoring a run during the third inning against the New York Mets at AT&T Park on September 2, 2018 in San Francisco, California. The Mets defeated the Giants 4-1. (Photo by Stephen Lam/Getty Images)
SAN FRANCISCO, CA – SEPTEMBER 02: Alen Hanson #19 of the San Francisco Giants reacts after scoring a run during the third inning against the New York Mets at AT&T Park on September 2, 2018 in San Francisco, California. The Mets defeated the Giants 4-1. (Photo by Stephen Lam/Getty Images) /

Alen Hanson

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To be honest, there wasn’t much to choose from after Rodriguez and Holland, but I really loved what I saw from Hanson in 2018.

Once a highly regarded prospect in the Pittsburgh Pirates organization, Hanson had struggled at the major league level for his first two seasons in the big leagues.

In 2016 for Pittsburgh he hit just .226 in 31 at-bats (27 games). Things were even worse in 2017 when he hit .193 in 57 at-bats for the Pirates before being released to the White Sox through waivers.

With Chicago, he did a little better hitting .231 in 160 at-bats with 28 runs scored, 9 stolen bases, and 4 home runs.

The San Francisco Giants were able to pick him up on a minor league deal last offseason, and he got off to a hot start in Triple-A hitting .403 in 62 at-bats with 3 home runs and 6 stolen bases.

He stayed hot once called up to the big leagues and gave them a real boost. Things leveled out eventually, but he still ended up with a solid year hitting .252 in 294 at-bats with 36 runs scored, 8 home runs, and 7 stolen bases.

But what also made Hanson so special is his versatility. He played six different positions for the Giants — center, first, and pitcher were the three missing.

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I think Hanson could be big piece of our bench going forward, and I feel comfortable with him filling in as a starter when an injury occurs.

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