Friday, January 20, 2017

2017 Prospect Countdown: #23 RHP Drew Anderson

D. Anderson, image- MiLB.com
Righty hurler Drew Anderson hasn't gotten a lot of attention compared to other fast rising talents in the Phillies' system.  The 22-year-old underwent Tommy John surgery in April 2015 and returned to the mound last season in time to solidify his place as a formidable young prospect and proved himself as a name that fans should start becoming familiar with.

The Reno, NV native was selected in the 21st round of the 2012 draft out of high school.  Upon turning pro, Anderson posted a 1-1 record with a 4.76 ERA in eight appearances with the Rookie level Gulf Coast League Phillies.

The following year, his first full season as a pro, Anderson tallied a 6-3 record with a 2.00 ERA, a .214 batting average against and a 6.4 K/9 mark in 15 starts as a member of the short-season Class A Williamsport Crosscutters.

In 2014, the six-feet-three 185-pounder posted a 4-4 record with a 4.68 ERA, a .266 batting average against and a 9.4 K/9 mark in eight starts for the Class A Lakewood BlueClaws.  He would miss time that year with an elbow strain and returned to action rehabbing with the GCL team in July but would miss the remainder of the season following a setback.

Rest and rehab didn't do the trick and when pain returned in his elbow the following spring, surgery took place in early April to repair his ulnar collateral ligament.

After missing the entire 2015 season, Anderson returned to action last year in late May after some rehab appearances in extended spring training. As a member of the BlueClaws, Anderson would sport a 1-3 record with a 3.38 ERA, a .220 batting average against as well as a 10 K/9 mark in seven starts.  He would earn a promotion to Class A Advanced Clearwater where he continued to stand out. 

Upon joining the Threshers, he was the starter in a game in which the team notched a combined no-hitter.  For the Threshers in eight starts, Anderson put together a 2-1 record with a 1.93 ERA, a .217 BAA and a 10.2 K/9 mark.

Anderson drew enough attention that the Phils added him to their 40-man roster this off-season in order to protect him from the annual MLB Rule 5 draft.  As a member of that roster, he'll be a part of big league spring training this year.

Prior to the surgery to repair his elbow, Anderson was known mainly as a control pitcher.  However, with conditioning work and improved strength in his lower half, he was able to add velocity following his return.  Reports had him touching 97 MPH with his fastball at multiple times last season, regularly clocking in the mid-90's.

Also in his repertoire are a very good curve ball and an improving change up that Anderson has targeted taking strides with.

Locating pitches and his command will continue to be a plus for Anderson, as his solid 2.9 BB/9 mark for his career will only improve as he refines the feel for pitches he's been working on in the lower levels of the minors.

The intangibles are what the organization likes about him the most.  Anderson is a focused and determined hurler.  He is tough, wants to compete and loves to learn about the sport that is his career.  He'll be a leader and a sponge for baseball knowledge as he moves upward in the developmental ranks.

The ceiling for Anderson could be a middle-of-the-rotation guy.  Look for him to be among the first wave of players sent to minor league camp from big league spring training in March and expect him to open the season with Clearwater again this year.  Being part of the Double-A Reading rotation before too long is probably quite likely for Anderson, who is looked at as a very promising prospect, as well.

You can follow along with this year’s Phillies prospects countdown by clicking this link.
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