Braves' Anderson to make MLB debut Wednesday
The Braves need starting pitching. It helps that they have one of the game's best pitching prospects waiting in the wings. The waiting will soon be over. Atlanta has called up No. 42 overall prospect Ian Anderson for his Major League debut. The right-hander will face the Yankees in the
The Braves need starting pitching. It helps that they have one of the game's best pitching prospects waiting in the wings. The waiting will soon be over.
Atlanta has called up No. 42 overall prospect
Taken with the third overall pick in the 2016 Draft out of an upstate New York high school, Anderson has developed into Atlanta's top pitching prospect during his four years in the system. He has yet to post a season ERA above 3.50 while hitting every stateside rung of the developmental chain from the Gulf Coast League to Triple-A Gwinnett.
The 22-year-old is coming off a season in which he notched a 3.38 ERA and 1.25 WHIP over 135 2/3 innings between Gwinnett and Double-A Mississippi. His 172 strikeouts were both a career high and tied for fourth-highest in the Minors. That said, after a dominant turn at Double-A, he did struggle at the Minors' highest level, where he posted a 6.57 ERA and issued 18 walks over 24 2/3 innings following an August promotion to Gwinnett.
The 6-foot-3 hurler showcases three pitches with above-average potential in his fastball, curveball and changeup. The fastball sat in the low-90s last season but stands out because of the way it can bear down on hitters from Anderson's over-the-top delivery. The curveball, which features a low spin rate, works with a 12-to-6 movement that led to plenty of K's, and his changeup has improved enough to give him the three necessary pitches to start in the Majors. Control has been an issue -- as evidenced by his Triple-A walk total -- but the 2019 Organization All-Star has developed to the point that he should be at least average in that department over the long term.
Anderson joins a Braves club that sits atop the National League East with a 16-12 record despite issues with its rotation. Ace
In the outfield, Acuña's return, along with
Sam Dykstra is a reporter for MiLB.com. Follow and interact with him on Twitter, @SamDykstraMiLB.