Let the Tommy Hanson Era Begin

Illya HarrellAnalyst IIJune 4, 2009

KISSIMMEE, FL - MARCH 3:  Pitcher Tommy Hanson #73 of the Atlanta Braves throws during an exhibition game against Panama at Champion Stadium March 3, 2009 in Kissimmee, Florida.  (Photo by Sam Greenwood/Getty Images)

In what is perhaps the biggest news to come out of Georgia since the 1976 election of a peanut farmer to the White House, the much anticipated call to Gwinnett from Atlanta has happened.

Tommy Hanson will start for the Braves on Saturday versus the Milwaukee Brewers

The rookie from Tulsa, Oklahoma has dominated at every professional level. "Dominated" is perhaps too light of a word for Hanson's minor league accomplishments. 

Before the season started, Baseball America listed Hanson as the Major League's No. 4 overall prospect, and the No. 1 in the Braves organization.

Since Baseball America's 2009 Prospect Handbook hit the shelves, Hanson has made them look a tad on the silly side.  

After a brilliant spring training he easily deserved a spot in the rotation. But, thanks to the arbitration rules he was kept down in the minors until early June, when he proved that he was too valuable—so the chiefs in the Atlanta organization decided to hold him in the minors just long enough to get an extra year before he could file.

Through 11 starts this season for Atlanta's AAA affiliate, the Gwinnett Braves, all Hanson has done is put up mind blowing numbers that have had his fantasy league owners sending nasty letters to Atlanta demanding Hanson be called to the bigs.

Just look:

1.49 ERA, 66.1 IP, 0.86 WHIP, 12.25 K/9

The 6'6" right-hander is blessed with a mid-90's fastball, and a slurvy 12-to-6 bender, reminiscent of Mike Mussina's early Baltimore years. 

The call to Gwinnett was bittersweet and ironic in a way. According to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, "Braves general manager Frank Wren made the announcement Wednesday night after announcing that 43-year-old left-hander Tom Glavine had been released."

So, one Atlanta chapter ends as another begins.