Wednesday, March 7, 2018

2018 Phillies Prospects Countdown: #7 RHP Drew Anderson

Drew Anderson, image- Jay Floyd
Righty hurler Drew Anderson earned a brief call up to the big leagues last season and is deservedly regarded as a valuable prospect in the Phillies system.  The promising 23-year-old is certainly a name that Phils fans should be familiar with by now.


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 did not do the trick and when pain returned in his elbow the following spring, Tommy John surgery took place in early April to repair his ulnar collateral ligament.

After missing the entire 2015 season, Anderson returned to action in late May 2016 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.

In 2017, Anderson impressed with Double-A Reading, sporting a 9-4 record with a 3.59 ERA and a 7.2 K/9 mark.  Those overall numbers were good enough to earn him an All-Star nod, but his efforts early on were lackluster.  He tallied an 8.59 ERA in four April starts.  Following that, his ERA at that level was 2.81.  

Anderson would earn a promotion to the majors for two relief outings that didn't go very well (he allowed five earned runs in 1 1/3 innings) in August. Additionally, he wrapped up his regular season and went into the playoffs with the Triple-A Lehigh Valley IronPigs, allowing four earned runs and striking out 11 in 12 2/3 innings.

Prior to the surgery to repair his elbow, Anderson was mostly known as a control pitcher.  However, with conditioning work and improved strength in his lower half, he was able to add velocity following his return from injury.  Reports had him touching 97 MPH with his fastball at multiple times in 2016, regularly clocking in the mid-90's.

Also in his pitch repertoire are a very good curve ball that can miss a lot of bats and an improving change up that Anderson has worked to improve.

Locating pitches and his command will continue to be a plus for Anderson.  Coaches want to see him work to refine his pitches and improve his game calling.

The intangibles are what the organization likes about him the most.  Anderson is a focused and determined pitcher.  He is tough, wants to compete and loves to learn about the sport that is his career.

Anderson says he gauges his own success simply based on if he feels healthy the day after he pitches and if his team won.  His statistics, velocity and other things that key in reviewing baseball talent aren't details that he keeps tabs on at all.

With a bit of big league exposure under his belt, the talented youngster should be ready to contribute on a larger scale soon.


You can keep track of this year's Phillies prospect countdown at this link.
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