doubtful hansen will be the bosox closer next year with papelbon aboard, but i see him as the primary setup man. he's learning on the fly right now in the playoff race. how much he learns is up in the air. as a setup man, he's not keeper material.
hansen's still a project. this is what's wrong with him right now:
1. He's very raw. Working as a RP @ St. John's, he didn't log in all those innings that starters do. Plus, he's only a handful of minor league innings.
2. He only has 2 pitches: a mid 90's fastball with great movement but little command, and a high 80's slider with a great late bite on it, but again with little command. i think his slider has abandoned him since he got promoted. same thing happened with Verlander last year, for some reason, maybe it's the seams on the major league ball, Verlander couldn't throw his curve in his few appearances in the show last year.
3. Too little MPH differential between his two pitches. Everything is hard. He needs a show-me low 80's splitter or changeup to change speeds.
4. He doesn't take advantage of the leverage/angles created by his height. Although he's 6'6", he really gets down quite low in his delivery.
5. He has wierd mechanics. He really short arms the ball, almost like he's pushing the ball up there like it's a shot put. I wonder if he threw like a normal person, maybe he could add even more gas and movement.
6. Questionable killer mentality. I've read that scouts compare his makeup to Matt Clement's. Matt Clement doesn't have the confidence to dominate.
If Hansen's slider lives up to the hype, if he locates the fastball, if he learns a 3rd serviceable pitch, if he cleans up his mechanics, and if develops a killer mentailtiy, then sure, he'll be a fine closer. But those are a lot of "ifs" for next year for someone so young and unpolished.
He'll be in Boston's pen next year in some moderately high profile role, but I'd drop him. Not for Wainwright though, but that's a different writeup...Good luck.