Tommy Hanson: ‘Former Braves and Angels’ pitcher dies at 29 after falling into coma

Updated: November 12, 2015
Tommy Hanson: Former Braves and Angels pitcher dies at 29 after falling into coma

Tommy Hanson, who spent four of his five MLB seasons with the Atlanta Braves, has died at the age of 29.

A source told WSB-TV that Hanson had trouble breathing early Sunday morning and was taken to a hospital. He suffered catastrophic organ failure, multiple sources told the TV station.

The 6-foot-6, 220-pound Hanson was the Braves’ 22nd-round pick in 2005 from Riverside (Calif.) CC, but quickly shot to prominence within the organization, rising to the No. 17 prospect after the 2006 season and No. 1 following the 2008 season, when he was also the No. 4 prospect in baseball.

He reached the majors in 2009—he was the first major leaguer from Redlands East Valley High—going 11-4, 2.89 and finishing third in the NL Rookie of the Year vote, and his first three seasons with the Braves were excellent.

But his velocity began to decline when he experienced shoulder discomfort in 2011 and he slumped in 2012, leading to a trade to the Angels for reliever Jordan Walden prior to the 2013 season. He last pitched in the majors with the Angels in 2013 and tried to catch on with the Rangers, White Sox and Giants in the past two years, but did not return to the majors.

He was 49-35, 3.80 for his career.