Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Tommy Hanson 2009

Tommy Hanson's performance in the recently concluded Arizona Fall League has turned him into one of the hottest prospects in baseball for 2009. Hanson became the first pitcher ever to win the AFL's MVP award, as he struck out an amazing 49 batters in 28.2 innings, while walking only 7 batters. He spent his time in the league working on his newly developed changeup, and apparently it's an effective one! Hanson's previous minor league numbers were good, but didn't suggest that he was capable of anything like this yet - 2008 combined A and AA he struck out 163 and walked 52 in 138 innings. That's very good, but suggests a pitcher who needs to improve his control before dominating at AAA and in the majors. In addition, his homerun rates have tended to be a little high, indicating that he likely is a flyball pitcher. That said, Hanson certainly is ready for success at AAA (if not the majors), and if his performance in the AFL was really because of his new pitch (and a real improvement in his control), and not just a fluke, then he's going to be an excellent pitcher in the near future.

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