The White Sox drafted the tall right-hander out of Oklahoma University in the second round of the 2016 MLB Draft as a high-upside arm that paired with some concerns around his ability to command his arsenal. Hansen shoved in 2017 across the Class A, High-A and Double-A levels, but has battled through a difficult 2018. A forearm injury landed him on the DL to begin the season, and Hansen has struggled badly with his control since joining Birmingham in mid-June.
In his July 8th start, Hansen’s fastball sat 93-to-94 mph (T95) with explosive life up in the zone, where he likes to work. Hansen also generates natural plane down in the zone, and gets swing and miss in both quadrants. His command is poor due to an inconsistent release point, a late arm, and poor lower-half engagement. The FB still projects as a plus offering despite the command, thanks to the late movement and swing-and-miss, and his ability to induce weak contact when he can work it around the edges consistently. His top secondary was an inconsistent slider at 83-to-88 mph, which was at its best with cutter-like shortness in the upper velo band. He didn’t consistently throw it for strikes, but its sharp bite induces chase swings, and it should develop into an above-average offering with improved location. His changeup is fringy, playing well off his fastball moreso because of out-of-hand deception than the fading movement he gets. He flashed a playable 12-to-6 CB that he got on the side of on occasion and missed his spots with, and it projects as a fringe-average, show-me fourth offering.
Hansen’s control is poor, the result of a effortful delivery and long levers that he’s not syncing up right now. It’s becoming increasingly likely he ultimately winds up in the ‘pen, where his fastball and slider could play up in short stints. With a two pitches that have swing-and-miss upside, Hansen’s raw stuff gives the ceiling of a FV 50 leverage reliever.