680 THE AN, ATLANTA – Much like fellow top prospect Cristian Pache, Ian Anderson’s Big League debut will have to wait an extra 21 hours or so as Tuesday night’s series opener with the Yankees was postponed due to rain. Anderson will finally get his opportunity to step on a Big League mound this afternoon in game one of a twin bill, starting at 4pm ET. So, when last night’s contest was washed out, I thought it would be fun to catch up with some folks who know Anderson better than any of us. So, to the phones I went!
Speaking with a few baseball scouts, I got a pretty good idea of what to expect from Anderson here tonight. When it comes to stuff, you’ll see a three pitch mix with a fastball in the mid 90’s that tends to play up in the zone. When it comes to his curveball, Anderson has more of power breaking ball with a lot of late bite. And his changeup, a pitch that over the last few years has been his out pitch, has really improved. “He knows how to pitch” one scout told me. Consider the fact that had he had originally committed to play collegiately at Vandy, Anderson would be going into his senior season here in 2020. So, that goes to show you that for as much hype as there is, he’s still extremely young. As far as comparisons, I was told on Tuesday that Zack Greinke and Adam Wainwright are two solid comps to where folks around the game project Anderson to be down the road.
Finally, I was curious to where Anderson’s ceiling is. I was told that most folks who have followed him since high school project Anderson to be a top of the rotation starter. And that for as good as Soroka and Fried have been the last few years, there’s a chance that Anderson ends up as the club’s ace down the road. The scout that signed Anderson in 2016 was the same man responsible for the Angles signing superstar slugger Mike Trout, so you know he can tell talent when he sees it. And if all that high praise wasn’t enough, Anderson is a graduate of the Braves Tamahakan leadership program, along with fellow pitchers Mike Soroka, Bryse Wilson, Touki Toussaint and many others that have passed through town over the last few years. Anderson, I’m told, has proven to have the mindset of a leader since day one. And now, the Braves hope he can show that when he takes the mound against Aaron Judge, Gary Sanchez, Luke Voit and the Yankees this afternoon for his Big League debut.