Former Atlanta Braves pitcher Tommy Hanson has died at the age of 29, according to Zach Klein of WSB-TV in Atlanta. Klein had reported earlier Monday night that Hanson had been taken to the hospital, and was in a coma.
It has been reported that Hanson passed away because of "catastrophic organ failure." There hasn't been anything reported on the direct link to said organ failure.
Hanson spent five years in the major leagues, with four of those coming with Atlanta. While with the Braves, he was widely considered one of the better young pitchers in baseball before he ran into shoulder problems that hampered his career.
In his first three seasons with Atlanta, he pitched over 450 innings, posting an ERA of 3.28. In 2011, he had two different stints on the disabled list, both for shoulder issues. Over the next two seasons, he pitched under 250 innings, posting a 4.76 ERA.
He has spent the last two seasons in the minors trying to make a comeback. In 2014, he was with the Triple-A affiliate of the Chicago White Sox, where he posted a 6.16 ERA over 49 2/3 innings. Last season was spent in the San Francisco Giants minor league system, where he first played for the San Jose Giants, then was reassigned to the Sacramento Rally Cats. Over the whole season, he pitched 70 innings, posting a 4.76 ERA. He had just elected free agency on Friday afternoon.
Hanson was drafted in the 22nd round of the 2005 draft by Atlanta, and made his major league debut in 2009. He has posted a career record of 49-35, with a 3.80 ERA. He had thrown a total of 708 innings between Atlanta and Los Angeles.
No matter the cause of his death, this a very sad set of affairs and he will be truly missed.