clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Washington Nationals' Stephen Strasburg vs The Atlanta Braves' Tommy Hanson.

New, 20 comments
Getty Images

In reporting on the Atlanta Braves' 6'6'', 220 lb right-hander Tommy Hanson's MVP-worthy effort in the Arizona Fall League in the fall of 2008, MLB.com's Jonathan Mayo noted, in an article entitled, "Hanson first hurler named AFL MVP", that in addition to the fact that he was the first pitcher to win the award, "One of the more amazing things about his performance was putting up those numbers while working on his third pitch, a changeup." Stephen Strasburg's change might be his best pitch with its unholy diving action, but the 6'4'', 220lb right-hander had to work on the pitch once his pro career started, because as Strasburg's college coach at SDSU, Hall-of-Fame-hitter Tony Gwynn explained in an interview last Spring with Sirius XM's Inside Pitch host Kevin Kennedy and his fill-in partner WGN Sports Central host Jim Memolo: "...in college it was kinda tough for him to throw his changeup, because his changeup was like 88, 89 and that's like most fastballs in college baseball."

Hanson, who was in his fourth season in the Braves' system after being drafted out of high school in California in the 22nd Round of the '05 Draft, dominated the AFL, striking out 49 (15.38 K/9) and walking just 7 (2.23 BB/9) in 28.2 IP for the Mesa Solar Sox in which the then-22-year-old right-hander held opposing batters to a .105 BAA and posted a 0.63 ERA. Strasburg, 21, and the Nats' '09 no.1 overall pick, didn't win the AFL MVP, and he did get hit hard on several occasions while pitching for the Phoenix Desert Dogs, but he still impressed everyone who saw him throw, collecting four wins and posting a 4.26 ERA in 5 starts and 19.0 IP in which he allowed 15 H, 10 R, 9 ER and 3 HR while walking 7 BB (3.32 BB/9) and striking out 23 (10.89 K/9). Neither pitcher started the following season in the Majors, with most assuming that it was a matter of holding each back to get another year out of them before they eventually become free agents, while each team claimed it was about their development. 

Hanson was (3-3) with a 1.49 ERA, 2.3 BB/9 and 12.2 K/9 in 11 starts and 66.1 IP with Triple-A Gwinnett before being called up to make his MLB debut on June 7th 2009 at home in Atlanta against the visiting Milwaukee Brewers. Strasburg was (7-2) in 13 starts and 55.1 IP at Double-A Harrisburg and then Triple-A Syracuse, posting a 1.30 ERA and allowing 31 H, 14 R, 8 earned and 13 walks (2.12 BB/9) while striking out 65 (10.57 K/9) before being called up to make his own debut on June 8, 2010 against the Pittsburgh Pirates

Hanson was (5-2) with 41 K's (6.09 K/9) over his first 10 starts and 61.0 inning pitched for Atlanta. 9 starts into his career, Strasburg's off to more off a record-setting pace with Washington. Though he's got the same (5-2) record, Strasburg's collected 75 K's (12.4 K/9) over his first 9 stats and 54.1 IP. Start 10 of Strasburg's career takes place Tuesday night in Nationals Park against Hanson and the Braves. The Nationals have won the last four starts Strasburg's made, with the pitcher himself on a three-game win streak. Hanson's (1-1) in July with the Braves 2-2 with the 23-year-old right-hander pitching...

Who's Watching The Nationals?


Stephen Strasburg

#37 / Pitcher / Washington Nationals

6-4

220

R

R

Jul 20, 1988

 

'09 SDSU Stats - (13-1), 1.32 ERA, 15 GS, 2 CG, 109.0 IP, 59 H, 16 ER, 19 BB (1.57 BB/9), 195 K's (16.1K/9). 

AFL Stats - (4-1), 4.26 ERA, 5 GS, 19.0 IP, 15 H, 10 R, 9 ER, 3 HR, 7 BB, 23 K's, 1.16 WHIP. 

ST 2010 - (1-0), 2.00 ERA, 3 GS, 9.0 IP, 8 H, 2 ER, 2 HR, 1 BB, 12 K's.

'10 - (Final Double-A Harrisburg) - (3-1), 5 GS, 22.0 IP, 7 H, 9 R, 4 ER, 6 BB (2.45 BB/9), 27 K's (11.05 K/9), 1.64 ERA, 0.86 WHIP.

'10 - (Final Triple-A Syracuse) - (4-1), 6 GS, 33.1 IP, 18 H, 5 R, 4 ER, 1 HR, 7 BB (1.89 BB/9), 38 K's (10.26 K/9), 1.08 ERA, 0.75 WHIP. 

'10 - (w/DC) - (5-2), 9 G, 54.1 IP, 2.32 ERA, ERA+ = 178, 1.89 FIP, 15 BB (2.48 BB/9), 75 K's (12.42 K/9), 1.07 WHIP. 

vs ATL - (0-1), 1 GS, 6.1 IP, 6 H, 4 R, 3 ER, 2 BB, 7 K's, 4.26 ERA, 1.26 WHIP, .273 BAA. 



Tommy Hanson

#48 / Pitcher / Atlanta Braves

6-6

220

R

R

Aug 28, 1986

 

'09 Stats - (11-4), 21 GS, 127.2 IP, 2.89 ERA, ERA+ = 143, 3.50 FIP, 46 BB (3.24 BB/9), 116 K's (8.18 K/9), 1.18 WHIP.

'10 Stats - (8-6), 20 GS, 113.2 IP, 4.12 ERA, ERA+ - 98, 3.34 FIP, 37 BB (2.93 BB/9), 114 K's (9.03 K/9), 1.36 WHIP.

vs DC - (2-0), 5 GS, 33.2 IP, 28 H, 11 ER, 3 HR, 6 BB, 35 K's, 2.94 ERA, 1.01 WHIP. .230 BAA.