Thomas J. Hanson was a draft-and-follow pick in the 22nd round by the Atlanta Braves in the 2005 amateur draft out of Riverside Community College.
Hanson is a 6'6", 210-pound right-handed pitcher with a mid-90's fastball, curve ball and an improving change up.
Hanson spent his first year of pro ball in Danville in 2006, where he compiled a 4-1 record with a 2.09 ERA. Even more impressive, in his 51 2/3 innings at Danville, he had 56 K, nine BB, and a 0.99 WHIP.
I guess you could say he was flat-out dominant.
In 2007, Hanson split time between low-A Rome and high-A Myrtle Beach. While at Rome, he appeared in 15 games and started 14 of them. In his 15 games in Rome, he was 2-6 with a 2.56 ERA.
Don't let his record fool you, because he struck-out 90 in 73 innings. When he was moved up to Myrtle Beach, Hanson saw his ERA move up too.
In 11 starts at the Beach, he finished with a 3-3 record with a 4.20 ERA, but he still was striking out more than one batter per inning (64 K's in 60 IP).
Hanson's 2008 campaign brought a lot of success and recognition for what he's been accomplishing on the mound. Baseball America ranked him as the ninth-best prospect in the Braves organization.
He started his 2008 season, once again, at Myrtle Beach. On opening night, Hanson recorded 13 strikeouts in five innings before being pulled because of pitch count.
He wasn't a Pelican for very much longer, only six starts after opening night, before being called up to Double-A Mississippi.
Hanson started 18 games for Mississippi, and his most memorable came on June 25. In his ninth start in Double-A, he tossed a 14-strikeout no-hit performance against the Birmingham Barons.
His no-hitter was the first no-hitter in the history of the Mississippi Braves. In his 98 innings in Double-A, he struck out 114 batters and walked 41.
His impressive 2008 earned him an invite to pitch in the Arizona Fall League, which is a post-season league where the best of the best prospects are showcased.
While most players are fatigued from playing all spring and summer, Hanson continued to get even better. In his 23 2/3 innings, he's compiled a 4-0 record with 39 K's and a .114 opponent's batting average.
With his impressive 2008, Hanson will probably start the year in Triple-A Gwinnett County and will be in Atlanta by the end of the year.
(UPDATE: Baseball America just posted a good article on Hanson. It can be found here.)
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