Two-Minute Drill with Chris Hanna
Chris, the Hickory series with the RiverDogs this week was your first time to play as a pro in front of the hometown fans. What was that like for you?
CAREER HIGHLIGHTS: The former Stratford High School standout was picked in the 11th round by the Texas Rangers in the 2010 MLB draft. Hanna was an all-state pitcher and played quarterback for the Knightsí football team. He threw three no-hitters as a senior and was committed to play at The Citadel before signing with the Rangers. In his rookie year in 2010, Hanna was 1-1 with an earned-run average of 0.94 in 12 games. Last season, he went 4-2 with a 2.58 ERA in 17 games, and this season is 1-0 with a 4.76 ERA and one save for Hickory of the South Atlantic League.
ďItís actually a blessing, to be able to play in front of a lot of people I grew up with. Iíve had a few people coming out, my parents obviously and some of their friends. And then some people I went to school at Stratford with, so itís been a lot of fun. The first game of the series, I was able to get in and pitch and I did pretty well. I got a groundout and two strikeouts.Ē
How would you rate your pro career so far? Are you happy with our progress since you were drafted in 2010?
ďYes sir, itís gone really well so far. Just like everybody else here, Iíve got to take it day by day. You have to realize that even though itís a game, itís a business as well. You canít take anything for granted. You have to go out every day and work hard.Ē
What are your goals for this season? What are you working on this year?Ē
ďRight now, Iím in the bullpen, but my goal by the end of the year is to be a starter. Itís where Iím comfortable, itís what Iíve done all my life and itís where I want to be. To be one of the five guys in that starting rotation, thatís pretty important and thatís my goal.Ē
Coming out of Stratford High School, you had committed to The Citadel before you were drafted and turned pro. Any second thoughts about not going to college to play ball?
ďNo sir. Everybody has their second thoughts when they come out of high school and go into pro ball. You think, what if I had gone to college? But either way, Iím enjoying my life. I get to come out every day and play ball, so thereís really no worries about it.Ē
Whatís life like as a minor-leaguer?
ďIt has its ups and downs, but more ups than anything. A lot of travel, you get to see different places and different people. Iíve met people from different countries, so Iíve really enjoyed it. I like Hickory. Thereís not too much to do there, but we find our time to have fun there. We donít get much down time, but I like to relax with friends when we do get some. Maybe go out on the water and just relax.Ē
Whatís been the high point of your career so far?
ďIíd say it was my first year in rookie ball. I really came out and did well and I think I opened some eyes. I showed people what I could do in pro ball as an 18-year-old kid, and Iíve tried to build on that ever since.Ē
Compiled by Jeff Hartsell