Tommy Hanson passed away on November 9 after suffering from a catastrophic organ failure. The former Braves pitcher was found unconscious at his friend Brandon Bond's home on November 8 and was hospitalized since then.
The former starting pitcher of the Atlanta Braves was drafted in 2005 as the 677 pick of the draft. He played his first MLB game for the Braves in 2009 and finished third in the race for the National League Rookie of the Year award at the end of the season. The Oklahoma native finished his career with a 49-35 record and a 3.80 ERA.
Hanson was renowned as one of baseball's upcoming talents. Prior to the 2007 season, Hanson was named the best pitching prospect in the South Atlantic League. His curveball was his specialty as it had a 38 percent whiff rate throughout his career. Unfortunately, Hanson fell short of his expectations. The talented pitcher suffered a concussion and many shoulder complications which hindered his growth as a player.
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The 29-year-old played about five seasons in the MLB before being released by the Los Angeles Angels. Hanson continued his career in the minor league after signing a minor league contract with the Chicago White Sox. A few months prior to his death, Hanson agreed to another minor league contract with the San Francisco Giants.
The Atlanta Braves are devastated at the loss of their former pitcher. Hanson's former teammate and friend Freddie Freeman stated, according to ajc.com, that Hanson: "was a great teammate and an even better friend" and that he is still in disbelief that Hanson is gone.
Drug overdose is the likely cause for Hanson's death, but this cannot be confirmed until an autopsy has been performed. Hanson's death is a painful reminder of the amount of athletes who suffer from drug addictions.
The Atlanta Braves and the entire MLB gave Hanson's family their condolences for their loss. It is really unfortunate that such a talent was taken away from the world of baseball at such a young age.