Dodgers thrilled to land college righty Anderson
LA bolsters pitching with Jacksonville junior, Minnesota lefty Windle
LOS ANGELES -- Two months after appearing to have more pitching than they knew what to do with, the Dodgers addressed their sudden need for it Thursday by drafting a pair of college starters: right-hander Chris Anderson from Jacksonville University in the first round and left-hander Tom Windle from the University of Minnesota in the second round.
Vice president of scouting Logan White said he was really excited to get the guy he really wanted in Anderson, and even though that's what they all say, White said he really, really means it.
"I didn't even want the guys in the room saying his name," said White, who said Anderson reminds him of "guys like Clemens, Schilling -- physical with good stuff and that bulldog mentality and makeup."
Anderson is 6-foot-4 and 225 pounds and went to high school in Minnesota, where he was the state's Gatorade and Louisville Slugger Player of the Year, as well as a star quarterback. He was drafted in the 35th round of the 2010 first year player draft by the Chicago Cubs but didn't sign.
This year at Jacksonville he was 7-5 with a 2.49 ERA and a conference-leading 101 strikeouts in 104 innings with 27 walks, pitching exclusively out of the stretch. He played for a team that went 17-37. In his freshman year at Jacksonville, he was a closer. He blossomed after pitching in last summer's Cape Cod League.
"He throws 92 to 97 with a plus slider and a plus change," said White. "He has three Major League pitches on the right day. His command is good but needs to be refined. I've been real happy with a lot of our picks, but I'm terribly excited about this pick. He can be a front-line guy throwing 200-plus innings."
White said Anderson was available to the Dodgers because he "hit a lull" in the middle of the season, which White believes resulted from a 10-inning outing in which "he was throwing as hard in the 10th as he was in the first."
Although a junior, Anderson is only 20 and, because of a heavy workload this year, White said he would probably be limited to 50 innings the rest of the year.
"I think we could get him here fast if we wanted him in the bullpen this year, but in our situation we'll take care of the player," said White. "He ran up some high pitch counts and went deep into games and we have to monitor him. There's no hurry to get him here."
The Dodgers have taken pitchers first in 10 of the last 11 Drafts under vice president of scouting Logan White. The scout that followed Anderson, Scott Hennessey, drafted and signed Paco Rodriguez in the second round last year.
Here's the MLB.com scouting report on Anderson:
"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."
Day 2 of the Draft continues with Rounds 3-10, streamed live on MLB.com on Friday, beginning with a preview show at 9:30 a.m. PT. And Rounds 11-40 will be streamed live on MLB.com on Saturday, starting at 10 a.m. PT
MLB.com's coverage includes Draft Central, the Top 100 Draft Prospects list and Draft Tracker, a live interactive application that includes a searchable database of Draft-eligible players. You can also keep up to date by following @MLBDraft on Twitter. And get into the Draft conversation by tagging your tweets with #mlbdraft.
The Dodgers have $5,211,700 to spend on their first 10 picks, ranking 25th in MLB, with $2,109,900 designated for the first-round pick. While the team can afford to surpass its allotted pool, it will not hit the penalty threshold to lose a first-round pick.
In the Pipeline
As a college pitcher, the Dodgers would love if Anderson can just come close to the virtual overnight arrival of Rodriguez last year.
With veteran starters Ted Lilly and Chris Capuano free agents after this season and Chad Billingsley and Josh Beckett with major injuries, there will be openings in the starting rotation behind Clayton Kershaw, Zack Greinke and Hyun-Jin Ryu.
If he's good enough, Anderson could pass Stephen Fife and Matt Magill into Zach Lee and Chris Reed territory among the top picks groomed to make the rotation.