Tommy Hanson: The Scouting Report

Illya Harrell@illya_1971Analyst IIJune 5, 2009

LAKE BUENA VISTA, FL - FEBRUARY 19:  Pitcher Tommy Hanson #73 of the Atlanta Braves poses for a photo during Spring Training Photo Day on February 19, 2009 at Champions Stadium at Walt Disney World of Sports in Lake Buena Vista, Florida.  (Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images)

In baseball circles, word traveled faster than an Australian brush fire.  Tommy Hanson got the call.

The news has put every fan of lights-out pitching, all Atlanta Braves' fans, and his fantasy baseball owners into a maniacal tizzy.  Well...the ones who were patient enough to keep him on their rosters or were fortunate enough to snag him off the waiver wire.

Why?

First off, the dude is a beast.  He's listed at 6 feet, 6 inches tall and tips the scales at 220 pounds.

Okay, so what?  The cat is big.  What is in his arsenal?  What does he throw?

Quick answer: The filthiest stuff seen in years.  If his pitching were language that a child spoke, mothers all over the world would be chaining kids to radiators.

Fastball: Mid-90's with excellent eye-changing movement.  While his command is not exactly where he would like at this point, one needs to remember that he is only 22 years-old.  His control will improve.

It's not like he's a Nolan Ryan or even a young Randy Johnson.  He is not nearly as wild as a drunken Marine at Mardi Gras.

Change: Report card B, but like his cheese, it has control issues.  However, it is easily good enough to fool the opposition after seeing the heater.

Here is where it gets good:

The Curve:  Devastating!  If spring training was any indication, this will be his out pitch.  It is absolutely cartoon-like.  A true 12-6er that hasn't been seen in more than a decade.

Conclusion:- Tommy Hanson's filthy combination of pitches will make opposing batters look like high school kids trying to hit a major leaguer. 

Not to go making wild comparisons or anything (and you know there is a big "but" coming), but his combination of power and knee-bucklers hasn't been seen since the likes of Sandy Koufax.  And remember, it took Koufax six years to become dominant. 

All right, it's not fair to start comparing him to Hall-of-Famers.  

His first start was originally scheduled for Saturday.  With the Thursday game against the Cubs rained out, baseball fans may have to wait until Sunday afternoon to follow the Tommy Hanson debut.

Sure would be nice if TBS still showed every Braves game!