Brett Anderson Continues to Dominate
Brett Anderson (Wendy Smith/
Senior Editor
Posted Jun 4, 2007

The Arizona Diamondbacks have avoided selecting high school players in the early rounds of recent drafts, but the performance of 2006 second-rounder Brett Anderson could alter that philosophy. Through his first eleven pro starts, the 19-year old has gone 6-3 with a 2.07 ERA and a 68:7 strikeout-to-walk ratio.

It isn't difficult to find those who would heap praise on this young southpaw.  Scouts, teammates, and opposing hitters are all impressed with the way Brett Anderson handles himself on the mound. 

He's looked outstanding so far," praises Wellington Cepeda, Anderson's pitching coach in South Bend.  "Giving me innings, throwing a lot of strikes, getting  people out, and attacking the zone.  Our hitting philosophy and pitching philosophy is attacking the zone and controlling the zone, so that's what he's doing."

One of the main benefits of drafting high school players is the ability to have them receive top-notch coaching during their formative years, rather than have them stunt their development under less experienced coaches who are more focused on winning games.  By so quickly adopting the organizational philosophies and showing himself to be coachable, Anderson could be paving the way for other high school players to get second looks from the Diamondbacks in this year's draft.

Frankly, the idea is that high schoolers take longer to develop that college players, but that hasn't been the case with Anderson.

"He pitches at a much higher level than his age and experience in pro ball would show," explains Frank Curreri, who was Anderson's primary catcher in April.  "He's a smart kid; knows what he want to throw and knows how to throw it.  [Anderson] knows how to pitch, which is rare for an 19-year old kid's first real year in pro ball." 

"As far as a raw, 19-year old first year pitcher, he's as good as I've seen, probably in all four years I've been in pro ball." 

Anderson's stuff and mechanics are so good already, that the organization isn't even messing with his pitching right now.  With the kid among the Midwest League leaders in nearly every statistical category, what's there to fix?

"It's not so much my pitches; it's holding runners and doing the little things right now," Anderson answered when we asked him what his coaches were emphasizing.  "As far as pitching, they haven't really keyed one aspect of it.  More so holding runners, fielding bunts - things of that nature." 

"Hopefully, I can just continue with the success I've had so far."

Premium subscribers can view Brett Anderson's full Prospect Profile, including a detailed scouting report on his repertoire and a comparison between he and Dodgers' phenom Clayton Kershaw.

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