Hanson pitching for the Atlanta Braves
San Francisco Giants
August 28, 1986 |
|June 7, 2009 for the Atlanta Braves|
(through 2013 season)
|Earned run average||3.80|
Thomas J. "Tommy" Hanson Jr. (born August 28, 1986) is a professional baseball starting pitcher who is a free agent. Hanson was considered by Baseball America to be the top prospect in the Atlanta Braves farm system going into the 2009 season. He made his MLB debut with the Braves on June 7, 2009 and played with them through 2012. He then played with the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim in 2013.
Tommy was born in Tulsa, Oklahoma. After moving to California at a very young age, Hanson graduated from Redlands East Valley High School in June 2004, electing to continue his post-secondary education at Riverside Community College. He played for the Corvallis Knights in the West Coast League, an independent summer collegiate baseball league. In 2005, he was selected in the 22nd round (677th overall pick) by the Atlanta Braves as a draft-and-follow pick. Tommy played Little League baseball in Victorville, California under Little League coach Steve Cooper. Tommy also played his freshman year of high school baseball at Silverado High School in Victorville, California before transferring to Redlands East Valley. Then he was drafted out of Riverside Community College in Riverside, California.
Minor league career
The following year, in 2006, Hanson began playing for the Danville Braves of the Appalachian League. In Danville, he began the season as the league's fourth-best prospect according to Baseball America. That season, Hanson ended up starting Game 2 of the Appalachian League Championship Series, finishing the season 4–1 with three wins coming in relief. He also had a 2.09 ERA with a 0.99 WHIP.
Before the 2007 season began, Hanson was named the best pitching prospect in the South Atlantic League and the ninth-best prospect in the Braves system. Hanson began the 2007 season in Class A, playing for the Rome Braves. When in Rome, Hanson amassed a 2–6 record with a 2.59 ERA in 14 starts (and one relief appearance). Midway through the season, Hanson was called up to the Myrtle Beach Pelicans, also a Class A team for the Atlanta Braves. He ended up finishing the season at 3–3 with a 4.20 ERA in 11 starts.
Hanson began the 2008 season in Myrtle Beach. In his first start, Hanson pitched five no-hit innings and recorded a then career-best 13 strikeouts (later broken in Double-A that year). Over his seven starts with the Pelicans, he allowed 15 hits in 40 innings. That stat, along with his 3–1 record and 0.90 ERA, earned him a promotion to the Braves' Double-A affiliate, the Mississippi Braves. At Mississippi, Hanson threw a no-hitter in his ninth start while also setting a new career high for strikeouts with 14. Hanson finished the 2008 season with Mississippi. He finished 8–4 with a 3.03 ERA in 18 starts. Following the Minor League season, Hanson won the MiLBY for Class A Advanced Single Game Performance. He won this award for his performance with the Myrtle Beach Pelicans. Hanson was named the Atlanta Braves Pitcher of the Year and also placed on Baseball America's Minor League Team of the Year. Hanson was invited to the Arizona Fall League to showcase his pitching. He compiled a 5–0 record with a 0.63 ERA while racking up 49 strikeouts in 28.2 innings. Hanson was named the Arizona Fall League's MVP, the first pitcher to receive this award.
In the 2008 offseason, the Atlanta Braves were one of multiple teams that were interested in trading for San Diego Padres pitcher Jake Peavy. Hanson's name was mentioned throughout the proceedings, but a trade for Peavy did not take place. Hanson began the 2009 season with the Braves' Triple-A affiliate, the Gwinnett Braves. He was named the number one prospect in MiLB by Minor League News in the MLN FAB50 Baseball 2009 rankings.
Major league career
Hanson was called up by the Atlanta Braves on June 3, 2009 after the team cut Tom Glavine. He made his debut on June 7 against the Milwaukee Brewers, pitching 6 innings, striking out 5, giving up 6 earned runs, 3 home runs, and receiving a no decision. He gave up two home runs to Ryan Braun, the first being the first hit allowed in Hanson's major league career.
On June 12, Hanson earned his first win against the Baltimore Orioles. On June 28, he threw six scoreless innings against the Boston Red Sox, allowing just 2 hits and 2 walks to improve his career major league record to 4–0 and lowered his ERA to 2.48. In his first 4 major league victories, his combined ERA was 0.78. At one point in the season he had thrown 22 consecutive shutout innings and also became the first National League rookie pitcher to win consecutive starts against the Yankees and the Red Sox. For his efforts, Hanson was named June's NL Rookie of the Month. In his final 10 starts, Hanson pitched 60.2 innings and allowed just 17 earned runs in that span. Hanson finished third in voting for the National League Rookie of the Year award.
Hanson finished the 2010 campaign with a 10–11 record, 3.33 ERA, and 1.17 WHIP. He set a career-high in innings-pitched with 202.2, surrendering 182 hits while striking out 173 batters and walking 56.
On June 12, Hanson set a new career high of 14 strikeouts in a game against the Houston Astros, which matched the most strikeouts recorded by a pitcher at Minute Maid Park. The pitcher who initially set the record of 14 strikeouts at Minute Maid Park was Bud Norris. At the all-star break, Tommy Hanson led the league in opponents' batting average (.190), was fourth in ERA (2.44), third in K/9 (9.5), second in WHIP (1.016), and tied for third in wins (10). Nonetheless, Hanson was not selected to the NL All-Star team.
Hanson was named the Braves' Opening Day starter. On July 31, Hanson was placed on the disabled list with a lower back strain. When he was put on the disabled list, Hanson had started 22 games with a 12-5 record and a 4.29 ERA.
Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim
After a 2013 season in which Hanson recorded a 4-3 record with a 5.42 ERA in 15 appearances (13 starts), Hanson was non-tendered by the Angels, making him a free agent.
Chicago White Sox
On April 7, 2014 Hanson agreed to a minor league contract with the Chicago White Sox. He spent the season with the AAA Charlotte Knights, who placed him on the DL as of June 12 with an undisclosed injury. He was taken off the DL as the season ended on Sept. 2.
No further information on Hanson's career is available. He is not listed on the White Sox 40-man roster nor Charlotte's roster for 2015.
Hanson throws three main pitches: a four-seam fastball at 89–92 mph, a slider at 78–82 mph, and a curveball at 71–73 mph. He occasionally throws a two-seam fastball and changeup, mainly to left-handed hitters. His slider is his most common 2-strike pitch to right-handers, and it responsible for a plurality of his strikeouts. His curve has the highest whiff rate, at 38% over his career.
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- "No structural damage for Darvish". ESPN.com. March 27, 2014. Retrieved January 4, 2015.
- Padilla, Doug (April 7, 2014). "Tommy Hanson signs with White Sox". ESPN.com. Retrieved April 7, 2014.
- "Brooks Baseball · Home of the PitchFX Tool - Player Card: Tommy Hanson". Brooks Baseball. Retrieved 15 September 2012.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Tommy Hanson.|
- Career statistics and player information from MLB, or ESPN, or Baseball-Reference, or Fangraphs, or The Baseball Cube, or Baseball-Reference (Minors)
- MILB.com: Tommy Hanson Biography