White Sox

White Sox hope second-rounder Alec Hansen's 'fun ride' continues at Kannapolis

White Sox hope second-rounder Alec Hansen's 'fun ride' continues at Kannapolis

The way he dominated the Pioneer League had to boost to Alec Hansen’s confidence. It also prompted his promotion.

When the White Sox sent their second-round pick to Great Falls last month it was in the hope he could rebound from a rough junior season at Oklahoma that caused his draft stock to fall. Once thought to be the potential first overall pick of the 2016 draft, Hansen was selected 49th after he posted a 5.40 ERA and walked 39 batters in 51.2 innings. But Hansen — who made his first start at Single-A Kannapolis on Friday — looked every bit the first-rounder at Great Falls with a 1.23 ERA and 59 strikeouts in 36.2 innings.

“We wanted to put him in a position where there was a little less pressure to start off the season,” White Sox player development director Nick Capra said. “There's always pressure, but it's a little less magnified in the Pioneer League. We wanted to get him on the right road. We did a couple things with him mechanically and he took off with it.”

“We kind of held him hostage in Great Falls a little bit too long. He’s been really good. He’s double-digit strikeouts every night. He’s not walking people.”

Hansen is expected to make two starts at Kannapolis before the team’s season ends. He earned a no decision after he allowed three earned runs and five hits with two walks and six strikeouts in five innings against the Columbia Fireflies on Friday.

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Capra described the mechanical changes the White Sox made with Hansen as minor. Essentially, they want Hansen to take advantage of his 6-foot-8 frame and stay taller and release the ball more quickly. They believe it will help him better command his pitches.

Through 11 minor-league starts, Hansen has walked 18 batters in 49 innings (he also pitched seven innings in Arizona). That’s compared with the 96 batters he walked in 145 innings in college.

“Our player development guys deserve so much credit for the way they've handled it,” amateur scouting director Nick Hostetler said. “There was a little bit of concern about the confidence part of it, just him taking the ball every fifth day and knowing that we believe in him. Our pitching guys and PD guys deserve a huge amount of credit for just the time they put into it. They really, really know how to make these guys excel and succeed. Been a pretty fun ride to watch and I hope it continues.”

SportsTalk Live Podcast: Manny Machado fallout

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SportsTalk Live Podcast: Manny Machado fallout

Mark Grote, Chris Bleck and JJ Stankevitz join David Kaplan on the panel.

0:00 - The fallout continues from the White Sox' failure to sign Manny Machado. Are Sox fans right to be mad that their team would not do whatever it took to land a once-in-a-generation player?

10:00 - Pat Boyle joins the panel to talk about the Blackhawks recent hot streak and whether or not the team should be buyers at the deadline.

17:00 - The Bears clear up some cap space by cutting Dion Sims. Will they use that money for a kicker? Plus the panel discusses if they Bears will re-sign Adrian Amos and if they should have any interest in Le'Veon Bell?

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White Sox Talk Podcast: White Sox don't get Machado. What now?

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White Sox Talk Podcast: White Sox don't get Machado. What now?

Chuck Garfien and Vinnie Duber first talk about the fan anger directed at the White Sox for not signing Manny Machado. Indians GM Chris Antonetti says he thinks the White Sox might contend in 2019 without Machado and raves about Eloy Jimenez. Tim Anderson is quite direct saying he doesn't want to answer questions about Machado anymore.

Plus, what kind of moves might the White Sox make next?

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White Sox Talk Podcast

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