Anderson may be one of the most underrated pitchers going into 2018. Last season he owned a very mediocre 4.81 ERA and a poor 1.67 HR/9. Not to mention the fact he pitches in the most hitter friendly park in all of baseball, but don’t let those numbers distract you too much from his immense potential. In 2016 he had a ground ball rate of 50.9%, but in 2017 that rate dropped to 43.7%. I have faith that in 2018 that ground ball rate will go back up and in turn help the poor HR/9 in 2017 go down.
Now not only does he produce a good amount of ground balls, but he also produces an abundance of soft contact. Over his 2 year career he owns a soft contact rate of 24.2%, and because of this I will not be opposed to picking up this sleeper in the later rounds of the draft.
Anderson can help your WHIP, ERA and W in 2018, but what if I told you he could also help your K as well. Last season he owned a respectable 8.48 K/9, but I expect this number to grow come 2018 due to his swinging strike rate of 12.0% in 2017. This rate was similar to the rates that Yu Darvish and Zack Greinke posted last year, so it is not too absurd to expect a K/9 higher than 9 from Anderson next season.
Now a lot of strikeout specialists accumulate a good amount of walks, but not Anderson. In his first full season he owned a very impressive 2.20 BB/9. Although his BB/9 went up to 2.72 in 2017, it was still way above the average. So I guess the only question left is why are we not even ranking this starter in our top 300 for 2018 drafts?