Former Gophers pitcher set to join the Colorado Rockies

Tyler Hanson was prepared to work in banking but will now join the Rockies organization in Idaho.

Minnesota starter Tyler Hanson pitches against Augsburg at Siebert Field on May 6, 2014.

Chelsea Gortmaker, Daily File Ph

Minnesota starter Tyler Hanson pitches against Augsburg at Siebert Field on May 6, 2014.

by Jack Warrick

Monday was going to be Tyler Hanson’s first day working full time with Wells Fargo.

He was set to hang up his cleats in exchange for a suit and tie. Then, he got a call from the Colorado Rockies.

“Out of nowhere, I’m driving up to my girlfriend’s house before we leave to the cabin and I get a call,” Hanson said.

Hanson — a recently-graduated Gophers pitcher — was offered a contract with the Rockies on Friday, and will sign with them once he gets to Boise, Idaho. He is expected to play with the Boise Hawks in the Northwest League, a Class A short season league.

Lucas Gilbreath, also a former Gophers pitcher, was drafted in the seventh round of the 2017 MLB draft by the Rockies. Since getting drafted, Gilbreath has been playing with the Grand Junction Rockies — a rookie league team.

Brett Baldwin, ahe area scouting supervisor for the Rockies, said he assumed Hanson would get drafted, but since he did not, he kept an eye on him. The Rockies ended up being at a point where they were at a need for an arm, Baldwin said.

“He’s a competitor, he’s got good makeup, he throws a lot of strikes, and I think his stuff is going to be able to play at the next level,” Baldwin said. “[Gilbreath] spoke highly of him and said he would be a good addition, and that was enough for me.”

After not getting drafted, Hanson had a tryout with the St. Paul Saints, an independent minor league team. The Saints did not call Hanson after he tried out.

After that, he continued playing baseball in his hometown with the Burnsville Bobcats, an amateur team.

Hanson, a right-handed pitcher from Savage, Minnesota, had a 3.88 ERA and a 4-4 record in his 2017 senior year with the Gophers.

“It’s got to be cool for him, to wake up this morning not even thinking of this being a possibility and now, all of a sudden, he’s going to be able to go out there and live his dream and play professional baseball,” Gilbreath said.