Alex Hassan knew a struggle was coming.
It was inevitable. This was his third organization this season and it was going to take some time for him to become comfortable with his surroundings and have that translate into production at the plate.
Patience was difficult but necessary.
And now it’s starting to pay off.
With an RBI-double in the first inning the outfielder extended his current hitting streak to five games and continued an impressive offensive stretch this month.
The double, his eighth of July, set the table for the Buffalo Bisons in a 3-1 win over the Syracuse Chiefs at Coca-Cola Field Thursday afternoon.
In his last 11 games, Hassan has hit .365 (15 for 41) and driven in five runs. His best performance came on July 3 when he went 3 for 3 and drove in two runs.
“I just kinda got comfortable. Got my feet under me. Got comfortable here. Got comfortable with the coaches and my teammates,” Hassan said of his improved play in July.
“I always feel confident at the plate. I’m confident in who I am as a hitter. I started slow but I almost expected that, it's just how my season started. I knew at some point I was going to swing the bat well because I’m confident in who I am.”
Hassan was drafted by Boston in 2009 and came up through the Red Sox organization. But then came the end of the 2014 season and he appeared in the transactions at a high rate. He was claimed off waivers by three different teams and eventually was released by Oakland. The Toronto Blue Jays signed him to a minor league deal and he came to the Bisons on May 30.
“It was a tough transition if you’ve never been through it but I love the team here,” Hassan said. “The coaches are awesome. They’ve helped me a lot.
“Any time you’re struggling it’s tough to be patient. You want to do well and you want to never struggle but that’s not the reality of this game. I think the more patient you are with yourself the easier it is to kinda turn things around.”
It took some time for the 27-year old to find his spot with the Herd, but the patience paid off, allowing him to find his timing at the plate.
“I think more than anything early there it was just a timing-type issue where he just wasn’t getting his front foot down and couldn’t pull the trigger because he was late and had to rush,” manager Gary Allenson said. “He’s getting his pitch to hit and like I said he’s getting his front foot down in time to get the barrel of the bat on the ball.”