Results tagged ‘ Tommy Hanson ’

Scouting the Top 50: 24-20

Yesterday’s post, in all honesty, was an embarrassment. I hope today’s makes up for it some, with four lengthier scouting reports for your perusal…

24. Tommy Hanson, RHP, Braves
tommy_hanson.jpgSeen: June (Southern League) and October (AFL)

Fastball: 90-95 mph
Curveball: 70-77 mph
Slider: 82-88 mph
Changeup:  82-86 mph

(Hanson’s two reports were both interesting, so I’m including both here instead of combining)

Double-A: Seen at no-hitter… started slow, threw better as game went on. Deception with fastball, picked up velocity late. Plus location on fastball. Slider can be untouchable with plus location. Curve approaches average. Needs to improve changeup. All business on the mound. Future at top of rotation.

AFL: Throws fastball to both sides of plate with plus command. Right-handed hitters helpless when he locates away. Plus, plus hard 3/4 curve, commands well, knee-buckler, unfair at times to hitters. Slider is tighter version of curve, plus as well. Changeup still needs work. Top of rotation future, could be ready in 2009.

23. Mat Gamel, 3B, Brewers
mat_gamel.jpgSeen: May

Outstanding hitting approach, gets bat through strike zone well. Can hit to all fields and can drive ball with power. Gets foold at times with off-speed stuff, will chase pitches down in zone. Glove work is spotty, but has soft hands and good arm strength. Bat will carry him and give him chance to be Major League contributor.

21. Elvis Andrus, SS, Rangers
elvis_andrus.jpgSeen: May (Texas League) and November

Great tools and instincts at premium position. Defensive tools to play now. Makes all plays in field. Soft hands and ability to wow you in feild. Will save runs. Sometimes stays back on balls a little. Arm very true. Singles hitter now, but hands work and swing will play. Very young, needs more innings, particularly at plate.

20. Brian Matusz, LHP, Orioles

brian_matusz.jpgSeen: November (AFL)

Fastball: 89-94 mph
Curveball: 72-76 mph
Slider: 81-85 mph
Changeup:  80-81 mph

Lefty with excellent future. Throws strikes with four competitive pitches. Fastball a little straight, without too much deception, though angle helps some. Fastball was hit until he started mixing pitches better. Curve and slider are two distinct pitches. Will challenge hitters with both, slider a touch better. Middle of rotation type at least.

AFL Championship preview extravaganza

OK, maybe that’s overstating things, but I really wanted to use the word extravaganza…

Keep an eye out for my “official” championship preview story over on and Should be up in a little while.

But I figured, why wait? They’ll be on the story, but in case you were curious, here are the starting lineups for the game:


1. Matt Young LF
2. Jason Donald SS
3. Logan Morrison DH
4. Jeff Larish 1B
5. Tyler Flowers C
6. Scott Cousins CF
7. Casper Wells RF
8. Van Pope 3B
9. Will Rhymes 2b
Tommy Hanson RHP


1. Eric Young Jr. CF
2. Steve Tolleson SS
3. J.P. Arencibia C
4. Mike McKenry DH
5. Josh Donaldson 1B
6. Dustin Martin LF
7. Chris Nelson 2B
8. Danny Valencia 3B
9. Evan Frey RF
Jeff Manship RHP

Noticeably absent from the Desert Dogs lineup is Sean Doolittle. He’d normally hit cleanup and probably play a corner OF spot (maybe 1B), but he had prior commitments and will not be at the game.

You think these guys aren’t taking this seriously? Take a look at some of these quotes, some of which are in the story and some which didn’t make the cut:

Eric Young Jr.: “It’s always a great time when you play in a championship game. Both teams are going to be pumped up to play. There will be more fans in the stands and that  brings more excitement. With what Tommy Hanson’s brought to the table this fall and in the Minors, he’s a real good pitcher. You have to bring your A game. If you can’t get pumped up for that, you don’t need to be in this business.”

Tommy Hanson: “It’s definitely an honor to get to throw in the championship game, especially for this team. Hopefully, I’ll do what I’ve been doing during the whole fall and give us a chance to win a ring. Now we’re at a point where we’re playing to win. We’ll do what it takes to try to win.”

Logan Morrison: “It’s the end of the season and we only want one game to do it, but we all want to get it done. The only way I can play is to be competitive. If I’m not competitive, I’m not going to do my best.”

Rocket Wheeler: “It’s what we’ve played for all year. We’ve played loose and played hard. They’ve played the game the way it’s supposed to be played. It’s a credit to these kids. We set the example early, but they went out and did it.”

Stan Cliburn: When they started putting rings out in this league, any time you play in a league sanctioned by Major League Baseball, you’re playing for a championship. The fall league is no exception. Our players, from day one, we knew reaching that championship would be a goal. They’re all excited about it. I set the tone early, that we’re down here for a purpose, not only to develop you, but to win baseball games. The Phoenix Desert Dogs have a little run going. I kept hearing, ‘Stan, you have a tradition to keep up.’ Getting that opportunity is what it’s all about.”

Be sure to watch all the action on at 2:30 p.m. ET. It’ll be me and Vinny Micucci with the call. More later…

Odds and Ends

Just a few days left in the Arizona Fall League season and it’s coming down to the wire to determine who’ll be in the championship game on Saturday (which, by the way, we’ll be broadcasting live on — 12:30 p.m. Arizona time). We know that the Phoenix Desert Dogs will be there. Of course, we could have predicted that on Opening Day — it’s almost to the point where they should get an automatic bid, no? The Desert Dogs, despite different personnel and even different organizations feeding players there (outside of the A’s, who are the constant), will be going for their fifth straight AFL crown.

Who they will be playing is still up in the air. The Mesa Solar Sox and the Peoria Saguaros are currently tied atop the American Division. With all due respect to the Sags, I’m kind of hoping to see the Solar Sox there. Why? I’m glad you asked.

The biggest reason is Tommy Hanson. Have you seen his line in the AFL? It’s the kind of thing that makes you do a double-take, especially considering it’s such a hitter-friendly league:

5-0, 0.63 ERA, 28 2/3 IP, 10 H, 2 ER, 7 BB, 49 K

That’s just silly stuff there. His WHIP is 0.59. If things end as is, he’ll win the AFL pitching triple crown. He’s twice had double-digit strikeouts and whiffed nine in two other contests, worth noting because he’s never gone more than five innings. And it doesn’t even include his dominant outing at the Rising Stars Showcase, during which he fired three hitless innings and struck out seven. It’s led to some good debate: Can/should a pitcher win AFL MVP? I don’t even know if that’s allowed, as there has been a Pitcher of the Year award in the past. In general, I don’t favor a pitcher winning MVP honors in any league. And in the AFL, they usually only pitch every six days and are on fairly tight pitch counts. But Hanson has been so ridiculously good and has been so much better than any other pitcher, he at least warrants a conversation.

Oh, and he’s slated to start the championship game on Saturday if Mesa makes it. I saw him pitch in that Rising Stars Showcase and would love to get one more shot at watching him throw.

He’s not the only draw for me from the Mesa roster. There are a trio of hitters I’d pay to see take some swings on championship Saturday. The first is Logan Morrison, who’s impressed scouts all season long. The Marlins first baseman leads the AFL as of today with a .426 average. He’s tied for second in RBIs, fourth in slugging and total bases and fifth in OPS. Then there’s the Phillies’ Jason Donald. Not only is Donald learning new positions in the infield, he’s third in the league with a .422 average and 1.251 OPS. He’s in the top four in both SLG and OBP and in the top 10 in a few other categories. Finally, we’ve got Braves catcher Tyler Flowers. If the league MVP were given for per game production, it’d be no contest. Flowers has played in 19 games (by comparison, Donald and Morrison have each played 23), yet is still tied for the league lead in total bases (72). He tops the league with 12 homers, SLG (an insane 1.014) and OPS (1.477), all while hitting .394 (sixth best).

In other words, you’ve got 4 MVP candidates on one team.

OK, before I go, I want to recommend a new feature my colleague Lisa Winston has over on her blog, got milb?  She’s begun what promises to be an entertaining and informative offseason feature called Beyond the Boxscore: Getting to Know… The first subject is Matt Young of the Braves. As much work as we all do in finding out the on-field skills of players, who the scouts like and who the future stars are, Lisa always does a fantastic job of digging deeper than that, and relaying what the person behind the player is like. These BTB Q&A’s do just that, so go check it out.

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