Two-year Cape Leaguer Hassan right at home in MLB debut with Red Sox

By: CCBL Public Relations Office
Alex Hassan (Orleans, 2008-09) is the first Massachusetts native to start for the Red Sox since Mark Bellhorn (Cotuit, 1993) in 2005 / photo courtesy of MLB
06/02/2014 5:04 PM -

     Admittedly nervous, Alex Hassan nevertheless was right at home Sunday as he made his major league debut at Fenway Park and collected his first career base hit in the Boston Red Sox’s 4-0 victory over the Tampa Bay Rays.

     Born in Quincy, Mass., and a graduate of Boston College High School, Hassan (Orleans, 2008-09) saw many a Red Sox game at the venerable ball yard while growing up in Milton, and he even got to play there in the ’09 Cape League All-Star game.

     The 26-year-old rookie, called up from Triple-A Pawtucket on Friday when catcher Ryan Lavarnway was placed on the 15-day disabled list, watched from the bench for two nights as Boston beat the Rays twice to extend their current winning streak to six. On Sunday afternoon, though, manager John Farrell (Hyannis, 1982) penciled him in as the starting right fielder and Hassan responded by getting his first big league hit and helping the Red Sox run their streak to seven wins in a row after 10 consecutive losses.
     The 6-foot-3, 200-pound rookie batted sixth and quickly found himself in a pressure spot, coming up with two outs and the bases loaded in the first inning. He never got to swing the bat, though, as Rays lefty Erik Bedard painted the plate with three consecutive called strikes to end the threat.
     Hassan’s next at-bat, in the fourth inning, was a different story. After Jonny Gomes led off with a single, Hassan stroked a clean single to center field. Jackie Bradley Jr.  (Hyannis, 2009) followed with a walk to load the bases and Jonathan Herrera’s sacrifice fly made it 1-0. Brock Holt, who had a record-tying afternoon with four doubles, used one of them to drive in two runs and the Red Sox led 3-0.
     Hassan is the first Massachusetts native to start for the Red Sox since Mark Bellhorn (Cotuit, 1993) of Weymouth in 2005, and the first to start in the outfield since Billy Conigliaro (Revere) in 1971.
     The former Duke star (.322/.402/.460 with 202 hits and 100 RBIs over three college seasons) was drafted by Boston in the 20th round (No. 618 overall) in 2009. He batted .217/.318/.303 in 45 games this season at Pawtucket, hardly impressive figures, while playing 25 games in right field, 11 in left, seven at first base and two as DH for the PawSox.
     In six minor league seasons, Hassan’s career line is .285/.394/.426, with 35 homers and 231 RBIs.
     Farrell liked what he saw of Lavarnway during spring training, according to’s Maureen Mullen. “If he goes out and puts up the at-bats we saw in spring training, he’ll be just fine. He had probably some of the most consistent at-bats for the entire time he was there with us,” Farrell told Mullen before Sunday’s game, adding, “It’s a chance for us to get another right-handed bat in the lineup. He’s got exposure to both corner outfield positions, and this is a challenging one here because of the dimensions.”
     Hassan’s Pawtucket teammate, infielder Garin Cecchini, also debuted Sunday and he too got his first big league hit. “We’re tapping into organizational depth and guys are ready to contribute,” Farrell said after the game. “It is a special day. I don’t know the last time two Red Sox players have gotten their first major league hits in a game.”
     For the record, the last two Red Sox rookies to get their first big league hits in the same game were Andy Merchant and Steve Dillard on Sept. 28, 1975.
     Cecchini’s debut came in the fourth inning after second baseman Dustin Pedroia was ejected by plate umpire D.J. Reyburn at the end of the third for continuing to argue strike calls.
     After his freshman year at Duke, Hassan played 39 games for the 2008 Orleans Cardinals, batting .208/.331/.238. The following season, he improved across the board and was selected for the All-Star game at Fenway, appearing as a pinch-hitter and drawing a base on balls.
     Hassan finished 2009 with a very respectable line of .289/.344/.395, with five doubles, two triples, a home run and 20 RBIs.

Search Archive »


Browse by Year »

Browse by Month »
April 2018
March 2018
February 2018
January 2018
December 2017
November 2017
October 2017
August 2017
July 2017
June 2017
May 2017
April 2017
March 2017
February 2017
January 2017
December 2016
November 2016
October 2016
August 2016
July 2016
June 2016
May 2016
April 2016
March 2016
February 2016
January 2016
December 2015
November 2015
October 2015
September 2015
August 2015
July 2015
June 2015
May 2015
April 2015
March 2015
February 2015
January 2015
December 2014
November 2014
October 2014
September 2014
August 2014
July 2014
June 2014
May 2014
April 2014
March 2014
February 2014
January 2014
December 2013
November 2013
October 2013
September 2013
August 2013
July 2013
June 2013
May 2013
April 2013
March 2013
February 2013
January 2013
December 2012
November 2012
October 2012
September 2012
August 2012
July 2012
June 2012
May 2012
April 2012
March 2012
February 2012
January 2012
December 2011
November 2011
October 2011
September 2011
August 2011
July 2011
June 2011
May 2011
April 2011
December 2010
September 2010
August 2010
July 2010
June 2010
August 2009
July 2009
June 2009
May 2009
September 2008
August 2008
July 2008
June 2008
September 2007
August 2007
July 2007
June 2007
September 2006
August 2006
July 2006
June 2006
September 2005
August 2005
July 2005
June 2005
September 2004
August 2004
July 2004
June 2004
August 2003
July 2003
August 2002
July 2002
June 2002
August 2001
July 2001
June 2001
November 2000
August 2000
July 2000
June 2000