anderson_chris_quakes_4.13.14

Dodgers’ prospect scouting report April 2014: Chris Anderson

anderson_chris_quakes_4.13.14

While Julio Urias is one of the most prized pitching prospects in the California League, the Dodgers also have the likes of 2013 draftees Tom Windle and Chris Anderson.

I was able to see Anderson’s April 13 outing in Modesto against the Rockies’ High-A affiliate, the Nuts.

The wind was blow out to right field for most of the afternoon, and he might have been aided by the wind. Anderson gave up quite a few hard-hit balls and fly balls, despite having a heavy fastball prime for getting grounders. That surprised me a bit.

Editor’s note: I am not a scout (#notascout). This is an amateur scouting report based on what I know about baseball and from following the sport all my life. I don’t claim to be a pro, I just want to pass along the information to the masses. All ratings in the charts below are on the standard 20-80 scouting scale, where 50 is roughly average, 80 is elite and nearly unattainable (think an Aroldis Chapman fastball), and 20 is unacceptably poor. Enjoy.

How he got here

Anderson, 21, was the Dodgers’ first-round selection (18th overall) in the 2013 MLB Draft out of Jacksonville University. The native Minnesotan signed for the slot-recommended amount of $2,109,900.

Early in the draft season, Anderson was a projected Top-10 pick despite pitching for a relatively small college in Florida. However, overuse caused his performance to suffer, which also caused his draft slot to suffer.

He debuted at Low-A Great Lakes last season, and performed relatively well. He was elevated to High-A Rancho Cucamonga for the 2014 season.

Vitals

B/T: R/R
Height: 6’4
Weight: 215
DOB: 7/29/1992

Repertoire

4-seam fastball
2-seam fastball
Curveball
Slider
Changeup

If you like heat, this was the outing to see. Anderson threw primarily in his 90-pitch outing. He sat at 93-96 MPH, and topped out at 99 MPH. He struck out Rockies’ prospect Trevor Story on a 98 MPH fastball in the first inning that was awfully impressive. He threw only fastballs in the inning.

He didn’t throw the 2-seamer a lot in this outing, as his fastball was up in the zone a lot with just a little arm-side run. But he didn’t get a ton of movement as the Nuts squared up more fastballs than expected for loud contact.

Anderson’s bugaboo is his control and command. It came and went (mostly went) in this outing, as he walked five hitters in his 3 1/3 innings, including three in the fourth inning. Me missed his location a lot — up and away to lefties and outside to righties.

The first breaking pitch he threw was his curveball. It sat at 80-81 MPH and topped out at 83 MPH. He threw a couple of good ones — including one in a 1-1 count that stole him a strike. He threw it sparingly (seven times) and it flashed average potential. It featured a sharp 11-5 break, but it wasn’t to be confused with his slider.

His slider was an 85-87 MPH offering that topped out at 88 MPH. It had some cutter-like action, but the shape of it wasn’t always consistent. He threw one really sharp one, a few flat ones and a few that looked like cutters. On his first slider, his arm slowed noticeably — something he’ll have to improve as he moves up the ranks. It flashed solid-average potential, but it’s also been said it’s his best off-speed pitch. On this day, his curveball was the better of the two breakers.

He didn’t throw his changeup in this outing, which is somewhat surprising to me as it was supposed to be his clear No. 3 pitch. But his fastball was the star of the day — when he threw it well.

Delivery

Like many early-round Dodger draftees of recent years, Anderson’s delivery is clean. When he begins his delivery, his body goes a little off-balance (just slightly) — kind of a rocking motion — before he explodes forward toward the plate. That could be a hindrance when it comes to repeating his delivery and arm slot.

He throws from a high three-quarters arm slot that is almost over-the-top (but not Zachary Bird over-the-top). He’s able to get some good downward plane on his pitches that should lead to a good sinking fastball down the road.

He tended to fly open with his front side, leading to command issues. His arm also dragged a bit, also leading to command issues.

He’s a big guy with a strong base, so having a clean delivery will benefit him greatly throughout his career.

Video

Here’s some video I shot of Anderson’s outing.

Grades

Tools Now Future
Fastball 50 65
Slider 45 50
Curveball 50 55
Changeup 50 55
Cmd/Ctrl 40 50
Delivery 55 60

Here’s how I would grade Anderson, in the table at right. His mullet graded out at plus-plus, as he flashed a 70 on this day.

Conclusion

Anderson impressed with his fastball and his better-than-expected velocity. The radar gun may have been a bit hot, but the Nuts’ starter was working in the mid-80s with his fastball, so it couldn’t have been that hot. His off-speed pitches need some work, and I’d like to see him incorporate his changeup more and either choose his slider or curveball to be his No. 2 pitch. He can be a 4-pitch pitcher, but command/control issues could lead to him scrapping a pitch.

He has the upside of a No. 2 starter, but he’s more likely a No. 3 or No. 4 starter. He reminds me a lot of Chris Withrow, and he could very well follow Withrow’s path if his command doesn’t improve. If he continues to miss his locations on a consistent basis, he could end up in the bullpen. If he does, he profiles as a late-inning, power reliever with the ability to close. Makeup and poise will determine whether he could be a future No. 2 starter or closer. But Anderson definitely has a future in the majors in some capacity.


About

Dustin Nosler began writing about the Dodgers in July 2009 at his blog, Feelin’ Kinda Blue. He co-hosts a weekly podcast with Jared Massey called “Dugout Blues.” He does contracts and depth charts for FanGraphs and is a contributor/editor at The Hardball Times. He graduated from California State University, Sacramento, with his bachelor’s degree in journalism and a minor in digital media. While at CSUS, he worked for the student-run newspaper The State Hornet for three years, culminating with a 1-year term as editor-in-chief. He resides in Stockton, Calif., and has yet to be shot.


316 comments
Lobo
Lobo

There's still an hour left in the workday and I have nothing to do

the great dick tater
the great dick tater

1. Greinke SS
2. Butera RF
3. Puig P
4. Figgins C
5. Fedorowicz 2B
6. Uribe LF
7. Ryu CF
8. Gordon 1B

9. Ethier 3B

efb
efb

We really have a 5 OF problem, or more like 2 of our 4 OF's cant hit lefties for shit, so let's throw a 5th into the mix. 

JackedNate
JackedNate

Just had an ultra secret job interview

Purple Drank
Purple Drank

GUESS THE LINEUP

Gordon

Turner

Puig

AGone

Kemp

SVS

Uribe

Butera

Tired Maths Cat
Tired Maths Cat

I just found a community of mathematicians on twitter. 

.... hooray! 

DBrim
DBrim moderator

Good thing you're getting a new post in like 10 seconds

Lobo
Lobo

@Mike Petriello  "The Padres are like a high school paper on government corruption, reminding you that bad things exist, while also being boring as all hell and presented sloppily. They're a competent Coldplay cover band."

Lobo
Lobo

@a potato Is it weird that Puig at P feels like the most believable thing here?

moneynow27
moneynow27

@Mike Petriello  

All the more reason why the Paco demotion is a joke.....With 1 LH in the pen, if his pitch count is too high 1 game, we have no LH the next game or two.......

Tired Maths Cat
Tired Maths Cat

well, they found me because i tweeted about one of their articles. 

Lobo
Lobo

@Purple Drank  @Lobo I don't see Don sitting Ethier two days in a row, even if we are facing back to back lefites