Craig Hansen is only a year removed from pitching at St. John’s, but he is already a long way from home.
This time last year, Hansen had just finished one of the greatest seasons ever for a St. John’s pitcher. He threw 64.1 innings and struck out 85 batters. He allowed only 38 hits all year and only one home run.
His ERA was a sparkling team-best 1.68, and he set a school record 14 saves.
And now he has one more number to be proud of: 1. It is his career major league win total after pitching against the Philadelphia Phillies on Jun. 26.
“We’ve always known that he could be very special,” St. John’s pitching coach Scott Brown said.
His season for AAA Pawtucket, before his promotion, has proven Brown’s comment to be an understatement. In 10 games, he struck out 20 batters and posted a 2.54 ERA.
Part of what’s made him so good is the development of a changeup to add to his repertoire that already consisted of a high-90s heater and a high-80s biting slider.
“I definitely think I am [ready,]” Hansen said, according to “I developed a changeup down in the Minor Leagues, and I feel that’s one of the pitches that’s going to help me out throughout my career.”
He added: “I’m definitely more confident now with a changeup.”
With his first win, Hansen has officially made the transition: Red Storm to Red Sox.
But he has not forgotten where he has come from.
During Spring Training in big league camp, Hansen had this to say about his former Red Storm teammates: “I keep in touch with all my college buddies and talk to them all the time, and they tell me what’s going on with them and baseball.”
Several others from his record-breaking 2005 team are also playing professional ball, working their way up from the minor leagues.
2006 centerfielder Will Vogl was signed as an undrafted free agent by the New York Mets and has been assigned to class-A Hagerstown, where he has already hit his first two home runs as a professional.
“It’s a dream come true,” Vogl said, according to “It’s what you look forward to every day as a player, and it’s why we all play the game. I’m still a little in shock about it, but I’m ready to get started and help this team win.”
Pitcher Rob Delaney, also signed as an undrafted free agent, is throwing for the GCL Twins. He currently sports a 5.59 ERA.
2005 starting centerfielder Greg Thomson is currently playing for the A-level South Bend Silver Hawks and is batting .293 with two home runs and eight stolen bases in 57 games.
Anthony Varvaro, drafted in the 12th round by the Seattle Mariners despite needing arm surgery, has still yet to pitch in a professional game.
Catcher Joe Burke, playing for the high-A Tampa Yankees, has hit .273 in six games this season.
Shortstop P.J. Antoniato, playing in high-A Clearwater, is batting .243 in 13 games.