'The Natural'; Derek Hansen, Augustana Baseball
by Kolbe Nelson
May 14, 2012 4:51 PM
The movie 'The Natural' is named for it's star protagonist Roy Hobbs, a baseball player who can both hit and pitch extraordinairlily well.
Not unlike the fictional New York Knights that are featured in the film, the Augustana Vikings have found themselves a natural. His name is Derek Hansen.
"I was pretty open and honest and said your future's as a pitcher and I don't know if you're gonna hit at this level," Augustana Head Coach Tim Huber said, "He had a little bit of a long swing when he came in as a freshman, but he's a big strong kid and he got here his freshman year and he hit .375. So that shows what Coach Huber knew."
Hanson kept that strong hitting going this year too, leading the team with a .363 average. Vikings Coach Tim Huber wasn't completely off base though, Hansen knows how to get the job done on the mound.
The junior from Fergus Falls, Minnesota posted a 1.60 ERA this season and picked up an NSIC record 103 strikeouts. at one point tying a tying a single-game program record with 18 's against Minnesota-Crookston. The funny thing is, just like that Roy Hobbs guy, Hanson kind of came out of nowhere.
"He really didn't pitch in high school," Huber said, "For whatever reason. A guy with a good arm and they didn't use him much so we knew once he developed and got stronger, he was gonna throw harder and he's proved us right in that regard."
So what would he rather do, take cuts at the plate or fan guys from the mound?
"The most dominate I feel is when I'm on the pitching mound." Hansen said, "I feel like I can just control the game and I feel like it's my game to control and if I just do what I can then hopefully I can hit the ball here and there."
And you never know how important a ball hit here or there may be.Follow KDLT Sports at @KDLTSports and KDLT Weekend Sports Anchor Kolbe Nelson at @KolbeNelson for opinions, links, and updates on Twitter. And don't forget to check out the KDLT Sports Facebook Page