Our own Eric Roseberry broke a bit of unfortunate news on Thursday, as it appears Cincinnati Reds RHP Nick Hanson will undergo Tommy John surgery. Hanson, the Reds' 3rd round pick from last June's draft, is still just 18 years of age, and he was signed for an over-slot amount of $925,000 to entice him to forgo his commitment to play for the University of Kentucky.
Source: #Reds Nick Hanson (3rd round pick in the 2016 draft) could require Tommy John surgery. Trying to confirm.— Eric Roseberry (@ericroseberry) March 23, 2017
A 6-5 righty out of Minnesota, he pitched sparsely after being drafted last season, throwing just 16.2 innings in 8 games with the AZL Reds in Goodyear. Still, he's an extremely projectable pitcher from a location not necessarily known as a hotbed of pitching production, and it's obvious the Reds held him in high regard for quite some time, as Hanson himself told the Minneapolis Star Tribune after last June's draft.
For the Reds, it's not just a setback, but another gut punch in a somewhat alarming trend. Four of their last five 3rd round draft picks have been pitchers, and Hanson now joins each of Wyatt Strahan (2014), Mark Armstrong (2013), and Dan Langfield (2012) as pitchers who have missed entire seasons due to major surgery. Each of Strahan and Armstrong have recently dealt with Tommy John surgery themselves, while Langfield has battled through more injuries than Devin Mesoraco to the Devin Mesoracoth power.
(Someone go make sure Blake Trahan, the lone position player drafted in the 3rd round in that stretch, is doing OK.)
Hopefully, it'll be a smooth recovery for Hanson, who's still plenty young enough to rebound from this successfully and be an impact arm in Cincinnati's system.
*The Enquirer's Zach Buchanan later corroborated Roseberry's initial report.