Mitch Hansen – Shades of Green Dodgers outfield prospect drawing comparisons to former slugger Shawn Green

Outfielder Mitch Hansen was selected by the Dodgers in the second round of the 2015 First Year Player draft out of Plano High School in Plano,Texas. Being picked by the Dodgers with their 67th overall selection was a bit of a surprise as they had chosen two college pitchers with their first two selections – Walker Buehler (24) out of Vanderbilt and Kyle Funkhouser (35) out of Louisville. Signability is less of an issue when a high school player is selected with an early pick so it seems the Dodgers must have been convinced they could sign Hansen, who was the 23rd high school player taken in the draft.

The selection of the Plano native was not all that surprising in other circles.

“One of the more well-rounded position players in the 2015 Draft class, Hansen has solid tools across the board,” MLB.com writes of Hansen. “Evaluators who like him think several of those could develop into plusses, though he’ll have to get picked early to deter him from his Stanford commitment. Hansen has a fluid, compact left-handed swing and a good feel for hitting. He uses the entire field, has performed well against quality pitching on the showcase circuit and with the U.S. 18-and-under national team, and is growing into some power.”

Baseball America tabbed Hansen as its No. 38 overall prospect, ranked him No. 10 among outfielders and No. 18 among high school players and likened him to former Dodgers outfielder Shawn Green.

“Hansen has an ideal corner outfielder’s frame as he should add significant good weight to his 6-foot-4, 195-pound frame,” writes Baseball America

Mitch Hansen (Photo credit - Kelsey Kruzich)

Mitch Hansen
(Photo credit – Kelsey Kruzich)

At Plano the left-hand hitting Hansen was a four-time all-district selection. In his senior year with the Wildcats he excelled at the plate, in the outfield and on the mound. He hit .417 with an OBP of .516 and a slugging percentage of .625. On the mound when called upon he went 3-1 with an ERA of 1.75 and a WHIP of .972.

As a sophomore he started at quarterback for the Plano football team before totally committing to baseball. His family is both academically and athletically inclined and Hanson had committed to Stanford University. His sister Madison Hansen competes in track at Harvard.

Hansen acknowledges that he has watched Moneyball and read the book which centers on Oakland Athletics’ General Manager Billy Beane who second-guesses his decision to sign a professional baseball contract rather than take his scholarship at Stanford.

“We’ve watched the movie a lot,” Hansen said. “And, from what I remember in the book, he started regretting signing really quickly. Just like on some Friday nights, I missed football. And there will be times if I don’t go to college that I am sure I will think about that. but I think I have confidence to work through the hard times.

“I’ve gone through the same process with my family, friends and prayer that I did deciding about football,” Hansen added. “And it’s likely I will sign with what we’re hearing with the draft. That has always been my dream to play pro baseball.”

Interestingly enough, the 6-foot-4, 190-pound left-hand hitting Shawn Green went through the same dilemma to also forego a scholarship to Stanford.

“What it finally came down to was I wanted an opportunity to play professional baseball,” said the former Dodgers outfielder.

The Dodgers without a doubt were pleased with the signing knowing that Hansen has some rough edges that must be smoothed out. They are willing to wait on that development as Dodgers director of amateur scouting Billy Gasparino referred to 19-year old Hansen as “a five-tool player.”

Immediately after his signing, Hansen posted this brief but enthusiastic message on Twitter:

Hansen Tweet

Hansen played center field in high school but as he fills out he projects more as a corner outfielder. In his first season of professional baseball with the AZL Dodgers in 2015 he played all three outfield positions but only three game in center field.

He made his professional debut on June 20, 2015 against the AZL White Sox. He had one hit in three at bats and also drew a walk. His season at the plate got off to a very slow and most likely disappointing start but he recovered nicely with a .279 batting average in August along with a .353 OBP. In 39 games in the outfield he recorded one error and three assists.

Player comparisons are always a high risk venture so it should be made clear that no one has set Shawn Green expectations for Mitch Hansen. Their physical and personal characteristics, the Stanford connection and their desire to play professional baseball give them much in common. However, the Dodgers second round selection in 2015 will now blaze his own trail as he begins his second season in Dodger Blue.

 

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2 Responses to “Mitch Hansen – Shades of Green Dodgers outfield prospect drawing comparisons to former slugger Shawn Green

  1. Ron Cervenka says:

    Didn’t get a chance to check out Mitch at ST but if he comes even remotely close to being the hitter that Shawn Green was, I imagine I’ll see him at Rancho relatively soon.

    Can’t wait!

  2. Bluenose Dodger says:

    I’m hoping and expecting he makes his way to the Loons this year so I can watch him play.

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