Topic: Joel Hanrahan

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Joel Ryan Hanrahan (born October 6, 1981 in Des Moines, Iowa), nicknamed The Hammer, is a Major League Baseball right-handed pitcher for the Pittsburgh Pirates.

After graduating Norwalk High School in Norwalk, Iowa, he turned down a scholarship to play baseball at the University of Nebraska and entered the June 2000 Major League Baseball Draft. At that time, he was ranked as the 70th-best prospect in the nation by Baseball America. He was drafted in the second round (#57) and signed by the Los Angeles Dodgers.

In his first full season with Dodgers Triple-A affiliate, the Las Vegas 51s, Hanrahan went 7-7 with an Earned Run Average of 5.05 in 25 games. He ranked second on the club with 22 starts and third with 119.1 innings pitched. He batted .281 on the season and hit a home run on May 4 against Tucson and posted a 4.11 ERA at home and 6.39 mark on the road in the Pacific Coast League.

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