Anderson dazzles in big league debut for Braves
Ian Anderson had to wait an extra day before making his first start in the Major Leagues. It apparently didn't do him any harm. Atlanta's third-ranked prospect allowed just one hit -- a home run by Luke Voit -- en route to the Braves' 5-1 win over the Yankees in
Atlanta's third-ranked prospect allowed just one hit -- a home run by
Ian Anderson's first MLB K! pic.twitter.com/AY878JBN3P— Minor League Baseball (@MiLB) August 26, 2020
“Obviously my goal is to be here and stay here,” the 22-year-old told reporters after the game. “Today, I was able to show that a little bit. I’m definitely looking forward to hopefully getting another shot at it and see what we can do from there.”
Anderson (1-0) threw 90 pitches, 55 for strikes. The third overall pick in the 2016 Draft out of an upstate New York high school pitched to contact for much of the outing and retired the first eight in order before taking his no-hit bid into the sixth.
“It was pretty impressive,” Braves manager Brian Snitker said. “He slowed [the game] down well. He had confidence in his pitches. He wasn’t afraid of anything, I know that. He trusted his stuff. He got in the strike zone with those guys and that was really, really fun to watch.”
A seven-inning no-hitter may not count in the Major League record books, but Snitker wasn't planning on letting his rookie go the distance in the seven-inning doubleheader game anyway. “He was done after the sixth," he said. “[Throwing] 90 pitches at the alternate [training] site and 90 pitches here against the New York Yankees is a completely different animal. But he didn’t seem spent when I went over to talk to him.”
Even the opposition was impressed.
“He pitched well," Yankees manager Aaron Boone said. "We knew he had good stuff coming in. I thought he did a good job of attacking the strike zone and being a little unpredictable. He had the advantage of us not seeing him much at all. I thought he did a good job when he did get behind in some counts of being unpredictable, the ability to strike his secondary pitches, but not being afraid to be aggressive with his fastball.”
Despite sitting atop the National League East, Atlanta has had troubles with its starting rotation.
Anderson was 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. He went seven innings and struck out a career-high 14 while combining on a no-hitter with Atlanta's No. 28 prospect
The 6-foot-3 right-hander showcases three pitches with above-average potential in his fastball, curveball and changeup. The fastball sat in the low-90s last season but 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 garners plenty of strikeouts, and his changeup has improved enough to get him into the starting rotation.
In other action:
Phillies 3, Nationals 2
Philadelphia's top prospect
Rockies 8, D-backs 7
Colorado's top prospect
Rays 4, Orioles 3
Fifth-ranked Baltimore prospect
White Sox 10, Pirates 3
Chicago's No. 19 prospect Danny Mendick belted his third home run of the year -- a two-run shot to right field -- on a 2-for-4 afternoon. Luis Robert, the No. 3 overall prospect, went hitless in three at-bats for the White Sox, but plated the game's first run out of the No. 7 spot with a sacrifice fly to center in the second. Box score
Blue Jays 9, Red Sox 1
Toronto's No. 26 prospect
Cardinals 6, Royals 5
Top St. Louis prospect
Mets 5, Marlins 4
Miami's eighth-ranked prospect
Tigers 7, Cubs 6
Bryan Garcia, Detroit's No. 17 prospect, allowed a hit and a walk in two-thirds of an inning, but earned the hold. The 25-year-old right-hander lowered his ERA to 2.25. Sixth-ranked
Athletics 3, Rangers 1
Texas' No. 25 prospect Kyle Cody allowed a hit and a walk in one scoreless frame of relief. Third-ranked
Paige Schector is an editor for MiLB.com.