Sacramento River Cats

Former River Cats pitcher Tommy Hanson dies at 29

Los Angeles Angels starting pitcher Tommy Hanson points to a teammate during a baseball game against the Houston Astros in Anaheim, May 31, 2013. Hanson died Monday night, Nov. 9, 2015. He was 29. Hanson made 11 starts for the River Cats in 2015. Braves spokesman Brad Hainje says some of Hanson’s former teammates were at Atlanta’s Piedmont Hospital when Hanson died. WSB-TV in Atlanta reported Hanson slipped into a coma caused by catastrophic organ failure.
Los Angeles Angels starting pitcher Tommy Hanson points to a teammate during a baseball game against the Houston Astros in Anaheim, May 31, 2013. Hanson died Monday night, Nov. 9, 2015. He was 29. Hanson made 11 starts for the River Cats in 2015. Braves spokesman Brad Hainje says some of Hanson’s former teammates were at Atlanta’s Piedmont Hospital when Hanson died. WSB-TV in Atlanta reported Hanson slipped into a coma caused by catastrophic organ failure. Associated Press file

Tommy Hanson, who made 11 starts for the River Cats in 2015, died Monday at an Atlanta hospital. He was 29.

According to WSB-TV in Atlanta, Hanson suffered “catastrophic organ failure” after being rushed to a hospital early Sunday morning because he was having difficulty breathing. The station reported he later lapsed into a coma.

Hanson, a right-handed Giants pitching prospect, was 3-5 with a 5.60 ERA after being promoted from Class-A San Jose to Triple-A Sacramento on July 5. He became a free agent last Friday.

“We are incredibly saddened to learn of the tragic and untimely passing of Tommy Hanson,” River Cats President Jeff Savage said in a statement. “Tommy was a leader in this clubhouse and on the field, but more than that, was a favorite among the players. While he spent just the last half of 2015 with us, his presence was felt by all and he will be missed. Our thoughts and prayers are with Tommy’s family, friends and former teammates.”

Hanson, once considered one of the Atlanta Braves’ top pitching prospects before a shoulder injury and a concussion derailed his career, signed a minor-league contract with the Giants on May 13 and was assigned to the San Jose Giants on June 15.

In five major-league seasons, he was 49-35 with a 3.80 ERA in 123 games (121 starts). As a rookie for the Braves in 2009, he was 11-4 with a 2.89 ERA and finished third in National League Rookie of the Year voting, behind Marlins outfielder Chris Coghlan and Phillies pitcher J.A. Happ and ahead of Pirates outfielder Andrew McCutchen.

He last pitched in the majors with the Los Angeles Angels in 2013, compiling a career-worst 5.42 ERA in 15 appearances.

“My condolences go out to his family and loved ones,” Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. “I will always remember him as a great competitor and he will always be a Brave.”

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