Can Craig Hansen Get the Monkey Off His Back?
Craig Hansen was chosen with the 26th overall pick of the June 2005 draft by Boston Red Sox, and made his MLB debut less than three months later, smack in the middle of a heated pennant race. Hansen was not the best prospect in the draft, but was considered by many to be among the most polished — so it was not a surprise that he was in the Fenway Park bullpen so quickly. The 6’6″ St. John’s closer touched 98 MPH on the radar gun, had the best slider coming out of the draft, and was judged as having the appropriate temperament for short relief work. He zipped through 12 innings split between the Gulf Coast League and AA before laying an egg in Boston. Though he was a disappointment in his first four games as a big leaguer, most predicted future success as an MLB closer.