Thursday, June 27, 2013

Dodgers' 1st-rounder Chris Anderson impressive in pro debut for the Loons

Chris Anderson made quite the statement with his professional debut on Tuesday night. It’s the smallest of sample sizes, but his debut should fill Dodger fans with optimism.

Anderson, the Dodgers’ first-round draft pick in 2013, struck out the side in his first inning of work. He did so on just 10 pitches, nine of which were strikes. That’s impressive in its own right. But the fact all nine of those strikes were swinging and on his fastball is almost unbelievable.

He only struck out two in his second -- and last -- inning of work. He finished with the following line:

  • 2 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 5 K, 27 pitches, 20 strikes
Probably couldn’t have drawn it up any better than that. He topped out at 98 MPH with his fastball and sat in the 90-96 MPH range while flashing a plus mid-80s slider. He didn’t throw his changeup, which is something I’d like to see him do consistently before season’s end. It was just his first start and, despite being on a 50-inning limit, he’ll have plenty of time to throw it.

Jared Massey said he counted 14 swings and misses. If accurate, just two of Anderson’s 20 strikes were put into play -- a fly out to left and a bloop single. That’s awfully impressive.

Anderson is a surefire Top 10 prospect in the system, and more likely a Top 5 guy. I’m doing my midseason Top 25 update in July, and Anderson will surely make an appearance.

Second-round draft pick Tom Windle also made his debut -- piggybacking with Anderson (as he will do for the foreseeable future). While he wasn’t as impressive, it was a good debut for Windle as well:

  • 2 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 2 K
The only velocity reading I heard on his fastball was 91 MPH, which is true to scouting reports. His slider made an appearance (got a strikeout on the pitch) and hit 86 MPH on the radar gun.

His profile still screams reliever to me, but it’ll be nice to see him throw against Midwest League hitters the rest of the season.

Also, Jared Massey made an interesting observation while recording “Dugout Blues” Tuesday night. This is the first time he (and I) can remember the Dodgers first three draft picks have all been on the same roster in full-season ball immediately after being drafted (Anderson, Windle, Brandon Dixon). The Great Lakes Loons are benefiting from the draft and the infusion of talent to an already talented roster. The Dodgers have leaned so heavily on high schoolers early in the draft for so many years that it is surprising to see all their first three picks on the same team.

Cody Bellinger won’t make making an appearance in Midland anytime soon (Arizona Rookie League, 18 years old), but guys like J.D. Underwood and Jacob Rhame -- both at Ogden -- could be promoted if they perform well enough in the Pioneer League.

Photo credit (courtesy): Ali Messick, Great Lakes Loons

1 comment:

  1. "Probably couldn’t have drawn it up any better than that."

    Actually, it's been done better than that. Look up Hong-Chih Kuo's pro debut. April 2000.