Former Atlanta Braves pitcher Tommy Hanson dies aged 29

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Tommy Hanson, who pitched five seasons in the major leagues for the Braves and the Angels, has died aged 29.

A group of Hanson’s former team-mates were nearby when he died at Piedmont hospital in Atlanta. A source told WSB-TV that Hanson had trouble breathing early Sunday morning and was taken to hospital. He suffered catastrophic organ failure, sources told the TV station.

“We are incredibly saddened to learn of Tommy’s tragic passing,” Braves president John Schuerholz said. “He was a favorite in our clubhouse and with our staff and he will truly be missed by everyone in Braves country. Our thoughts and prayers are with his wife, family, former teammates and friends.”

Braves shortstop Andrelton Simmons tweeted:

Hanson, a 6ft 6in right-hander who was born in Tulsa, Oklahoma, was selected by the Braves in the 22nd round of the 2005 draft and once was considered the top prospect in the organization.

However, after posting a 2.89 ERA over 21 starts in his rookie season of 2009, Hanson slipped each season thereafter. He saw a gradual decline in his velocity and dealt with shoulder issues that kept him on the disabled list in 2011.

The Braves traded him to the Angels after the 2012 season, and he did not pitch at the Major League level after making 15 appearances for the 2013 Angels. He finished his career with a 49-35 record, 3.80 ERA and 648 strikeouts.

He made multiple comeback attempts, with the Texas Rangers, Chicago White Sox and San Francisco Giants, but it didn’t really work out. In May, Hanson signed a minor league deal with the Giants and appeared for their Class A and AAA teams in San Jose and San Francisco.

He was 49-35 with a 3.80 ERA for his career.

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