TANNER ANDERSON, RIGHT HANDED PITCHER
|Born: May 27, 1993
Height: 6′ 2″
Drafted: 20th Round, 607th Overall, 2015
How Acquired: Draft
College: Harvard University
WTM’s PLAYER PROFILE
|Anderson split time between the rotation and the bullpen at Harvard in 2015, putting up a 4.08 ERA in 46.1 innings, with a 22:14 K/BB ratio. This came after he missed the entire 2014 season with an injury. He threw in the 88-92 MPH range, topping out at 94, with a curve and a slider. By late 2016, though, he was sitting at 92-94 at least some of the time. He moved to the bullpen in 2018 and was sitting at 93-94. As a reliever he was throwing a lot of sliders, with a rare change as his only other pitch. Anderson’s delivery features a high, old-style leg kick, as seen in the photo. It’s reminiscent of former Pirate Bronson Arroyo. As a college senior he signed quickly.
The Pirates sent Anderson initially to Bristol and he got good results there, walking almost nobody but with a low K rate for a short reliever. He moved up to Morgantown in time to get in three games there. Anderson allowed no HRs at either stop.
Anderson started the season back in the West Virginia bullpen. He pitched well there, still with a low K rate. His numbers were inflated by one outing in which he gave up seven runs in one inning. Oddly, the Pirates promoted him to Bradenton after that outing. After batting .218 against him with the Power, opponents hit .302 against him with the Marauders. He missed extremely few bats with Bradenton. He was a very extreme groundball pitcher, with a 71.9% groundball rate.
The Pirates moved Anderson to the Altoona rotation to start the season and he was generally effective without being outstanding. He made 19 starts, then moved to the bullpen for his last 11 games. I don’t know whether that reflected a decision that he’d be better in relief or because his workload had gotten well beyond the previous year’s. He was, in fact, more effective as a reliever, with a 2.38 ERA and 220/270/293 opponents’ batting line. His numbers as a starter were 3.58 and 271/315/364. He had some trouble with left-handed hitters, who put up a .756 OPS against him. Right-handed hitters managed just .565. He remained a very strong groundball pitcher, although not so much as 2016; he had a groundball rate of 61.3%. Anderson’s K rate remained low.
The Pirates moved Anderson to the bullpen with Indianapolis and he pitched well, throwing strikes and increasing his K rate a little. He had a high ground ball rate and helped himself a great deal by keeping the ball in the park, allowing only two home runs. He had trouble with left-handed hitters, who batted .344 against him. Right-handed hitters batted just .230. A little surprisingly, the Pirates added Anderson to the 40-man roster and called him up when they needed a fresh arm in late June. He got into one blowout game and got bombed. He got a second brief callup later in July, then came up in September. After that first bad outing, he allowed three earned runs in 9.1 IP.
The September callup probably indicates that the Pirates see Anderson as possibly having a long-term role. They did not call up Alex McRae, who was added to the roster during the season under similar circumstances. The fact that Anderson doesn’t miss many bats probably limits his ceiling to middle relief.
|2019: Major League minimum
|Signing Bonus: N/A
MiLB Debut: 2015
MLB Debut: 7/2/18
MiLB FA Eligible: N/A
MLB FA Eligible: 2024
Rule 5 Eligible: N/A
Added to 40-Man: 6/27/2018
Options Remaining: 2 (USED: 2018)
MLB Service Time: 0.040
|June 10, 2015: Drafted by the Pittsburgh Pirates in the 20th round, 607th overall pick; signed on June 17.
June 27, 2018: Contract purchased by the Pittsburgh Pirates.