The MLB All-star break is around the corner, Halo Hangout will be handing out their midseason grades on how the LA Angels’ players have done thus far.
LA Angels’ bullpen reliever Justin Anderson has been a pleasant surprise. Although the Angels’ bullpen has disappointed, Anderson still continues to throw heat.
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Not a lot of people knew who Anderson was before the start of the 2018 season. In fact, at age 25, Anderson looked to be a career minor leaguer because of his struggles. To give you some perspective, Anderson’s career numbers in the minor leagues includes a 4.80 ERA and 1.514 WHIP.
However, Angels’ GM Billy Eppler saw something in Anderson, his fastball. Anderson, whose fastball tops at 100 MPH, has provided plenty of relief in his short stint in the MLB. In 32.1 innings pitched, Anderson’s ERA sits at 3.62 while his WHIP remains a high 1.546. But, Anderson is performing well which has earned him the title of being a late-inning reliever.
Anderson has the tendency to go right at batters. Because of his impressive fastball, Anderson has 42 strikeouts which has averaged out to almost 12 strikeouts per nine innings.
“I want to make sure I’m pounding the strike zone a little more,” Anderson said in an interview with the Los Angeles Times. “Instead of going out there and just sort of throwing the ball around in circles.”
Besides his strikeouts, Anderson has done well at keeping the ball low, only allowing three home runs this season. Some of his recent success must be credited to Angels’ pitching coach Charles Nagy and his philosophy of attacking batters.
While Anderson’s fastball remains impressive, his command for his pitches needs tuning. Anderson has 20 walks, which averages out to 5.6 walks per nine innings. This has allowed his WHIP to rise and he can get into some tough situations.
Final Verdict: B+
Though is command is a concern, the Angels love Anderson’s arm and fastball. It’s a philosophy the Angels are following: find guys who can throw heat.
I leave you off on this. Anderson was called in twice against the Dodgers during high-leverage situations over the weekend. He allowed one hit in two innings pitched and also recorded his fourth save.