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Thursday, February 21, 2019

Can right-hander Drew Anderson elevate his big-league profile?

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Drew Anderson has enjoyed minor league success

Barring the late signing of a veteran free agent such as Dallas Keuchel, the Philadelphia Phillies starting pitching rotation would appear to be set as spring training gets underway down in Clearwater, Florida.
Aaron Nola is the newly-signed young ace. Jake Arrieta fills the proven veteran role. Nick PivettaVince Velasquez and Zach Eflin are incumbents on the back-end trying to find consistency and elevate their games. Jerad Eickhoff is the returning-from-injury former rotation member trying to fight his way back in from the outside.
In the bullpen, veterans David Robertson and Juan Nicasio have been added to a group of right-handers that already included Seranthony DominguezHector NerisPat NeshekTommy Hunter and Edubray Ramos. One of the most exciting arms in the early going has been 22-year-old righty Edgar Garcia.
So where does all of that leave Drew Anderson? He will reach age 25 in exactly one month, before the end of the Grapefruit League season. He has been tantalized with a taste of the big-league life on a handful of occasions spread out over the past two seasons.
Anderson has an uninspiring 0-1 mark with a 7.80 ERA and 1.733 WHIP thus far over 15 innings with the Phillies across seven mound appearances, six of those out of the bullpen. He has surrendered 23 hits with a 13/3 K:BB ratio.
What exactly has earned the Phillies 21st round pick in the 2012 MLB Amateur Draft out of Galena High School in his hometown of Reno, Nevada a place on the current 40-man active roster?
Aside from his big-league struggles, Anderson has pitched very well over the course of a six-year professional career. He has risen incrementally through the system, making a stop at each of the Phillies minor league affiliates at one time or another. Anderson has pitched particularly well since missing the entire 2015 campaign after undergoing Tommy John surgery that April.

MINOR LEAGUE SUCCESS

When he returned in 2016, Anderson wowed by allowing just 55 hits across 70 innings with a 78/22 K:BB ratio over 15 starts split fairly evenly between Low-A Lakewood and High-A Clearwater. That earned the 22-year-old a spot on the Phillies roster that off-season during an overall roster shakeup by the club. He has remained there ever since.