Former Braves pitcher Tommy Hanson, one of the most promising young talents in the game just five years ago, is dead at age 29.
Hanson died late Monday after suffering “catastrophic organ failure,” a person familiar with the situation told WSB-TV’s Zach Klein, who first reported that Hanson was in a coma and had been transferred to Piedmont Hospital in Atlanta.
A friend and former teammate of Hanson’s told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution at 7:50 p.m. that the situation was grave, and another former Braves teammate, Jordan Schafer, posted on his Twitter account at 11:06 p.m.: “This breaks my heart. RIP TH.”
Hanson had a 49-35 record and 3.80 ERA in 123 games (121 starts) over five major league seasons, the first four of those with the Braves. Shoulder problems and a concussion stalled his career, and he last pitched in the majors in 2013 with the Los Angeles Angels after being traded by the Braves in December 2012.
Hanson pitched in Triple-A during parts of the past two seasons, in the White Sox organization in 2014 and the Giants organization in 2015.
A California native known for his amiable personality, Hanson was a 22nd round draft pick by the Braves in 2005 out of Riverside Community College.
Hanson finished third in the National League Rookie of the Year balloting in 2009, behind Chris Coghlan and J.A. Happ and ahead of Andrew McCutchen. Hanson was 11-4 with a 2.89 ERA in 21 starts that season for Atlanta, earning the early summer call-up after posting a 1.49 ERA and 91 strikeouts in 66 1/3 innings over 11 starts at Triple-A Gwinnett.