Alex Hassan

A's claim OF/1B Alex Hassan on waivers from Red Sox

November 17, 2014 - 2:40 pm

Milton native Alex Hassan got to realize a childhood dream by making his big league debut at Fenway Park in 2014. Now, caught behind a raft of outfielders in the Red Sox farm system, Hassan will head elsewhere to see if he can claim an opportunity to be a more lasting opportunity in the big leagues. The A's were awarded a waiver claim on Hassan on Monday. Though he has a minor league option remaining, the 26-year-old is expected to get an opportunity to compete for a big league platoon role. Hassan was originally taken by the Red Sox as a pitcher out of Duke in the 20th round of the 2009 draft. However, the two-way college player proved so impressive as a hitter in the Cape League that summer that the Sox ended up signing him as an outfielder. In six pro seasons, he was one of the most consistent hitters in the system, hitting .291 with a .396 OBP and .436 slugging mark while demonstrating excellent pitch recognition and strike zone awareness. His lack of power and the fact that he was a corner (both outfield corner spots and first base) limited his ceiling, but his consistent approach led to a sense that he stood a good chance of being a big league contributor in the right role. Hassan made his big league debut on June 1 at Fenway, describing the experience as a dream come true. He went 1-for-3 with a single and a walk that day, and ended up going 1-for-8 with a walk and five strikeouts in three big league games this year. After his big league callup -- the first of his career -- Hassan excelled in Triple-A over the duration of the year, hitting .327/.411/.498 in 70 games with Pawtucket, for whom he was playing for the third straight year. However, with the Sox' additions of Yoenis Cespedes and Rusney Castillo, the emergence of Mookie Betts, and the presence of Shane Victorino, Daniel Nava, Allen Craig and Bryce Brentz as outfield corners, Hassan's place as a 40-man depth option -- particularly given that he was down to one remaining option (as opposed to Brentz, who has two) -- became difficult to sustain, resulting in his placement on waivers. Hassan hit .328 with a .409 OBP and .492 slugging mark against lefties in Triple-A in 2014. If he proves capable of translating that kind of success to the big leagues, then the A's -- who use platoons aggressive -- may be able to give him a longer look at the big league level.