When the Atlanta Braves began their rebuild at the end of the 2014 season, a priority was made by then-GM John Coppolella to acquire lots of young starting pitching prospects.
Atlanta Braves Pitchers such as Mike Foltynewicz and Matt Wisler have come and gone, while others have proven to be successful so far (think Max Fried and Mike Soroka).
In the 2016 MLB Draft , however, the Braves drafted a young 18-year-old New Yorker by the name of Ian Anderson with the 3rd overall pick. Mark Bowman of MLB.com wrote an article following Ian’s selection and shared a quote from Braves scouting director Brian Bridges about Anderson:
“What really sealed the deal was the maturity of this young man at such a young age…we feel like this guy better fits our organization moving forward.”
So far, Bridges has been spot on with his analysis and choice. Lost in the Braves’ 20 run outburst vs the Pirates on Friday was how well Ian Anderson pitched. His final stat line was 6 IP, 6 hits, 0 (zero!) walks, and 6 strikeouts.
Since his debut last year against the New York Yankees, Anderson has proven he has what it takes to be a future ace of this pitching staff.
According to Baseball Reference, in his 19 career starts, he has not allowed more than 4 earned runs per game in a start, giving him a career ERA of 2.48, and an ERA+ of 154 (the average ERA+ for all MLB starters is 100, so Anderson is 54% better than the average starting pitcher).
Based on their stats, batters are hitting a ridiculous .145 against Anderson’s changeup this season, which ranks as one of the lowest averages in all of baseball.
In just his small sample size, Ian Anderson has proven to be a dynamic starter who can develop into a perennial All-star and Cy Young Award contender.
Here’s to hoping he continues to grow and become one of, if not the best pitchers in baseball.