Hagan Danner – RHP/C, Huntington Beach HS (Huntington, Calif.)
6-2, 195 pounds; committed to UCLA
The 2011 Little League World Series star is now set to be selected in the late first round of this year’s MLB draft. The problem is whether he will be a pitcher, catcher, or both. After watching him pitch in several videos, I would try to keep him on the mound. He doesn’t get squared up at all, and the only hard-hit balls go the other way. Anybody who tries to pull on him pops it up.
Danner has some natural arm-side run on his fastball. That is something I enjoy seeing in a righty as the ball automatically jams a right-handed hitter. According to Jim Callis, Danner’s ceiling is equally as high as a catcher. While it’s hard to argue with the assessment of a consummate pro, I think his potential might be greater as a pitcher because of that run.
Late life on FB
Pitches inside well
Moves the ball around
Areas of Concern:
Will he pick a position and stay with it?
Will the team pick a position for him and stay with it?
He does have a small tick at the top of his delivery sometimes
What Others Say
Jim Callis & Jonathan Mayo – MLB Pipeline
The scouting industry might be split down the middle on whether he’d be better suited on the mound or behind the plate at the next level.
Danner has spent more time, especially in showcases, showing what he can do as a pitcher. He has a live fastball that can touch 94-95 mph and complements it with a solid curveball and a changeup that flashes above-average. He can fill the strike zone with all three, coming from a high slot. The UCLA commit also has the chance to be a special catcher. He has good hands and a plus arm defensively and while he’s a below-averages runner, his athleticism helps him move well behind the dish. He swings the bat well from a crouch set up, with quiet pop that could end up being average power in the future.
For my money, I don’t think there is any doubt that Danner will pitch. Check out the game video below in which he just destroys hitters. Notice how the fastball tails back over the plate. This kid is just pure viciousness on the mound.
I’ve been saying I don’t think the Cubs go pitcher with their first pick, but Danner’s skill set and his ability to play on the other end of a battery have undeniable appeal.