With the 18th overall pick in the 2013 amateur draft, the Los Angeleez Dodgers have selected 6-foot-4 righthanded pitcher Chris Anderson from Jacksonvile University.
CHRIS ANDERSON, RHP, JACKSONVILLE (@SeeAyy)
PICK ANALYSIS: We were light on Chris Anderson, ranking him at No. 45 in the BA 500, but it’s not a reach here. I’ve been writing for weeks that after the first half of the first round, things really spread out.
SCOUTING REPORT: Big and physical at 6-foot-4, 225 pounds, Anderson should give Jacksonville its first-ever first-round pick. Like the Dolphins’ third-round product of 2012, outfielder Adam Brett Walker, Anderson is a Minnesota prep product, and he’s evolved from the team’s closer as a freshman to its Friday ace as a junior. His performance has improved significantly through his college career, as he has boosted his strikeouts, cut his walks and become more consistent across the board. Early in the season, under a heavy workload, Anderson showed scouts a front-of-the-rotation fastball, pitching downhill and touching 96 mph. He’s usually in the 90-94 mph range, holds his velocity and throws strikes. He got strikeouts early both with the fastball and slider, which flashed plus. He also throws a much-improved changeup. Anderson generates velocity more from strength than arm speed, and most scouts see him as an innings-eater in the middle of a rotation. His timing helps, as a consensus starter in a year short on college arms.
WHERE HE FITS: With Hyun-Jin Ryu and Yasiel Puig graduating, Anderson will rank in the top three in the Dodgers’ system.
Scouting Grades* (present/future): Fastball: 6/6 | Curve: 5/6 | Slider: 5/5 | Changeup: 4/5 | Control: 5/6 | Overall: 5/6
There might not have been another college arm who shot up draft boards more than this Jacksonville University ace during the spring. His rise slowed a bit with some struggles, perhaps caused by fatigue, in April. But he still has the size, stuff and command to potentially be a frontline starter at the highest level.
Anderson’s fastball will touch 97 mph and is consistently at least above average with good sink. He throws a nasty slider, and his changeup projects to be a legitimate weapon as well.
Anderson has above-average control and command and the ideal athletic frame scouts love to see in a pitcher. There’s room for gaining strength, which gives him a high ceiling as well.
More via SB Nation:
Keith Law, ESPN: “Anderson has the size, roughly the fastball velocity and the potential out pitch in that slider to profile as a No. 2 starter.”
John Sickels, Minor League Ball: “Strongly built at 6-4, 225, Anderson showed sharpened command this spring of a plus fastball/plus slider combination. His change-up has also improved, and he profiles as an inning-chewing mid-rotation starter.”
Jonathan Mayo, MLB.com: “Anderson was a hot commodity early, but recent struggles have led to a fade. He could be this year’s Michael Wacha, who was in early 1-1 conversations last year but fell to St. Louis at No. 19.”
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Yasiel Puig, RF
Nick Punto, SS
Adrian Gonzalez, 1B
Scott Van Slyke, LF
Andre Ethier, CF
Tim Federowicz, C
Skip Schumaker, 2B
Luis Cruz, 3B
Zack Greinke, P