When I was performing the extensive research needed to complete last week's Carlos Febles post, I noticed the name of Jed Hansen. Hansen played for the Royals from 1997 to 1999 and I had absolutely no memory of him. Now, I'm no modern day Diedrich Knickerbocker, but when you've written loving profiles of Scott Pose and Joe Vitiello and their like, you expect some things of yourself. Had absolutely no recollection of Hansen however.
Hansen was our prodigal. Or, perhaps he was that on-again-off-again, flame. The Royals parted ways with him twice, only to bring him back. There was a spark of magic, some early years of promise, and a name spelled with an "e" instead of an "o." There were memories, I just never had them.
- Hansen was a 2nd round pick out of Stanford in 1994. Only one Major Leaguer of any note was taken in that round, but he was a big one: Troy Glaus, who was taken 14 spots ahead of Hansen. In the first round the Royals took Matt Smith, one of the bigger busts the team selected in the 1990s. The Royals' best selection that year was Jose Rosado, who was taken in the 12th round. That is, unless Matt Treanor EXPLODES next season.
- Hansen never really had a strong minor league season, though for a second baseman he wasn't bad in 1996, when he hit 12 homers and slugged .462. In 1998, when he couldn't earn a spot on the Royals as a 25 year old, he slugged .472 with a .347 OBP in Omaha, which also wasn't bad.
- His moment of glory was his August-September debut in 1997. In 34 games (111 PAs) he hit .309/.394/.426. You'll notice the batting average and walks, along with some decent power (6 2Bs, 1 3B and 1 HR, off of Luis Andujar of Toronto). After 13 games Hansen was hitting .381/.449/.595. He didn't quite collapse after that, but it's plain enough that he was holding on. He rebounded with a strong final week of the season, pulling his batting average up from the .280s depths.