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AFL Update from BP

Extremely good update from the AFL over at Baseball Prospectus by Joe Sheehan. The first bit is about Tommy Hanson:

...the most impressive pitcher I saw was the Braves' Tommy Hanson. He was also the first one I saw, which ruined me a bit for the rest of my time there. Because AFL pitching prospects are usually at the tail end of a nine-month season dating back to February, it's rare for them to look completely sharp. Hanson did; he showed the best fastball I saw all trip, 91-93 with very good movement. He also had what looked like two different breaking balls: a sharp, downward-breaking slider, and something with more of a curveball look to it. His command of the latter two came and went, but it was impressive to see a 22-year-old with that many pitches. Hanson's mechanics weren't great; he didn't use his lower body as much as you'd like to see, and he short-armed the ball. I suspect some of that is November fatigue. I don't see much reason for him to not be in the majors by August.

More building evidence that Tommy Hanson will be a fixture in our rotation by the end of 2009. Sheehan had some good things to say about Kris Medlen too, at one point comparing him to another one of our pitchers:

He's also very small, looking a bit like a right-handed Mike Hampton on the mound.

Here is his take on two more Braves prospects:

Tyler Flowers can rake, and I'm not sure why he doesn't get more attention. OK, he was old for the Carolina League. The Padres would do well to make him a key part of a Jake Peavy deal with the Braves. ... Stephen Marek could join Medlen in the Braves' pen next year; he's a bigger, one-inning guy.

I posted a video of the big-bodied Marek throwing the AFL earlier today. He'll get a strong look this spring. I also like what Sheehan says about Flowers. It continues to boggle my mind as to why we haven't heard Flowers' name in the Peavy trade rumors. All in all this was a good update by BP. Click over to the article for more.

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