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Colorado Rockies prospects: No. 19, Jameson Hannah

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The lefty outfielder joined the Rockies as part of the Jeff Hoffman/Robert Stephenson swap

19. Jameson Hannah (137 points, 11 ballots)

One of the few acquisitions the Rockies have made this offseason was Jameson Hannah, an athletic lefty outfielder from the Cincinnati Reds system, as part of the Jeff Hoffman/Robert Stephenson swap that also included just-drafted pitcher Case Williams. It wasn’t the first trade for the 5’9” 23-year-old 2018 2nd rounder (50th overall, signed for $1.8 million), who was traded from Oakland to Cincinnati for Tanner Roark during the 2019 season.

At the time of the first trade, Hannah was in the middle of a good full-season ball debut season (after posting a 119 wRC+ in 95 PAs in Short Season A ball in 2018). Notably, Oakland skipped him over Low-A ball altogether straight to High-A to begin 2019. With Stockton in the hitter-friendly California League against pitchers who were on average about 1.5 years older, Hannah hit .283/.341/.381 with 30 extra base hits (2 HR) in 413 PAs — good for a league average 102 wRC+ and a berth in the Cal League All-Star game.

After the trade from Oakland to Cincinnati in late July, Hannah scuffled offensively, hitting just .224/.325/.299 in 78 PAs (92 wRC+) in the Reds system before going down with a season-ending wrist sprain. It should be noted that the Florida State League is quite pitcher friendly, especially compared with the Cal League Hannah came from, and that the sample size was quite small.

Between the two stops, Hannah had a .274/.339/.369 line that grades out about average offensively. He struck out in about 20% of PAs and walked 8% of the time. For someone with Hannah’s athleticism, he hasn’t yet proven to be a strong threat on the base-paths, stealing 14 bases out of 22 chances so far as a pro.

Here’s some video of Hannah from Spring Training 2019 when he was in the A’s system, courtesy of Fangraphs:

Accompanying the above video, Fangraphs ranked Hannah 22nd in their pre-2020 Reds list with a 40 FV. That grade would put him in a similar position on Colorado’s pre-2020 list:

Hannah is a contact/speed outfield prospect who will have to make more contact than I have projected in order to play an everyday role. He hit .340 in college and has hit .280 in pro ball, his extra-base hit production consisting almost entirely of doubles. I have him as an average center field defender but think he could be plus in left, a diet Brett Gardner profile lacking the elite plate discipline. It’s a bench outfield look.

Baseball America was the high org on Hannah among pre-2020 lists, ranking him 10th in the Reds system:

Hannah is highly athletic and shows it on both sides of the ball. A plus athlete with good bat-to-ball skills and a nice lefthanded swing, Hannah grinds out at-bats and has a solid approach. He works counts and seldom chases out of the zone or swings and misses. He mostly hits grounders or low liners and racks up extra bases with his plus speed. His swing and size are not conducive to home runs, but he has the strength to drive the ball. Hannah’s speed and plus range play in center field, but his fringy arm needs to improve.

MLB.com slots Hannah 14th in Colorado’s system in their current ranking:

Hannah has an intriguing offensive profile and the Reds were attracted by his bat and a belief he can be a strong gap-to-gap left-handed hitter. He has good bat speed, makes hard contact and has solid strength. His approach is advanced and allows him to get on base effectively. A plus runner, he needs to get more out of his speed to become a base stealing threat.

That speed serves Hannah reasonably well in center field as he can cover a lot of ground and defend well. His arm is below average. He could wind up playing all three outfield spots at some point as he moves up.

That profile is highlighted by a plus (60) grade on speed with a 55 field and 50 hit grades. When compared to fellow outfield prospect Yonathan Daza (as several people did when providing their PuRP lists), Hannah rates lower via MLB.com in everything except speed and power. Then again, MLB.com is really the only org ranking Daza at this point (though Fangraphs and BP might not be considering him rookie-eligible anymore) while Hannah is though better of by other groups.

I think it’s telling that the Rockies didn’t call up Daza in 2020 and the scouting consensus seems to favor Hannah, so I ranked him 17th as a 40 FV grade player on my personal ballot (Daza was 22nd as a 35+ FV). Hannah has been placed on the Double-A roster by the Rockies entering 2021, which feels about right given Hannah’s prior performance and profile. He’ll be Rule 5 eligible after 2021, so the Rockies will need to decide quickly if Hannah merits a 40-man roster slot.