Rockies select LHP Anderson with 20th pick in draft
The Colorado Rockies selected left-handed pitcher Tyler Anderson from Oregon with the 20th overall pick in the first round of the Monday’s Major League Baseball draft, the third time in the past four drafts that the Rockies have selected a left-handed pitcher. The Rockies also selectedin 2009 and in 2008.
“When it was our turn to pick, we thought he was the best player available,” said Bill Schmidt, the Rockies’ vice president of scouting. “We think he’s a very athletic left-handed pitcher. He’s had success at the college level that we believe is going to ultimately translate here at the major league level.
“His athleticism, his competitiveness, his character all fit our model, what we’re looking to acquire here, and we liked the physical talent.”
Schmidt said Anderson has “some similarities” to former Rockies left-hander and first-round pickin his approach and emphasized that Anderson is not a left-hander solely relying on guile.
“He pitches at 90-92. He’ll get 93 occasionally,” Schmidt said. “It’s not like he’s 86-89. It’s 90-92 with a good changeup and probably an average breaking ball. He can command his fastball.
“He’s got a feel (for how) to pitch. He’s been successful not only in college but with Team USA last summer, and we feel like he has a chance to potentially move quick.”
Despite speculation that the Rockies would use their first pick to draft a position player such as Utah’s C.J. Cron, whose father Chris is a former major-leaguer and once managed Triple-A Colorado Springs when Buddy Bell managed the Rockies, Schmidt said the Rockies took the best player available. Cron was taken 17th overall by the Los Angeles Angels and was off the board by the time the Rockies selected, but highly regarded infielders Kolten Wong and Levi Michael were still available.
“We stayed true to our board,” Schmidt said. “There’s been a lot of time and effort by a lot of people, and we just stayed with our evaluations and stayed true to our board when we made our selection.”
Anderson, 21, is listed at 6-foot-4 and 215 pounds and was rated the 24th-best player in the draft by Baseball America. From BA’s scouting report:
He’s a good athlete who has gotten bigger and stronger and now stands 6-foot-4 and 215 pounds. Anderson’s biggest selling point is his feel for pitching. He takes a businesslike approach to carving up hitters and commands five pitches for strikes. He throws both a two- and four-seam fastball, and it sits in the 89-93 mph range with above-average movement. His slider is his best breaking pitch, and he’ll mix in a curveball. His bread-and-butter secondary offering is an above-average changeup.