The Los Angeles Angels made their first move of the offseason, signing Tyler Anderson to a three-year $39 million dollar deal. Los Angeles has a new arm to slot behind Shohei Ohtani in what should be a really good rotation.
Anderson played this past season for the crosstown rival Dodgers and had a career year. While it's not always great to sign players off of a career year, especially 32-year-olds, there's reason to believe this contract will be worthwhile for the Angels.
Here's what you can expect from Tyler Anderson.
Anderson is yet another southpaw who doesn't have electric stuff but gets the job done more often than not.
He averages just 90.7 on his four-seam fastball which ranks in the sixth percentile according to baseball savant. As a soft-tosser, his strikeouts are nowhere near the league average. His 19.5 K% was in the 26th percentile.
What Anderson does do extremely well is limit hard contact. He ranked in the 98th percentile in average exit velocity and the 98th percentile in hart hit rate. Anderson also ranked in the 86th percentile in barrel rate.
40.9% of the batted balls off of Anderson were hit on the ground. He allowed just 14 home runs in 178.2 innings pitched (0.7 HR/9).
Another thing he specializes in is avoiding the free pass. This used to be an issue with Anderson but over the last two seasons he's walked just 1.9/9 and walked 1.7/9 this season.
In Anderson's all-star year with the Dodgers, he went 15-5 with a 2.57 ERA in 30 appearances (28 starts). He had a 3.31 FIP and a 163 ERA+. It was just a monster year for this left-hander.
A big reason for his success was his improvement with his changeup. Opponents hit .250 with 10 home runs off that pitch in 2021. This past season, they hit .179 with three home runs. Furthermore, Anderson used his changeup as his primary putaway pitch, using it to finish off 60 of his 138 strikeouts. He used it to finish off just 24 strikeouts with that pitch last season.
Anderson will likely regress, but that's okay.
Anderson's 3.31 FIP suggests his microscopic ERA was a bit flukey. He probably won't have a sub-3.00 ERA as an Angel, and that's fine. You don't pay a starter $13 million dollars annually and expect that kind of performance.
What the Angels need is an innings eater who can keep them in games. Even when he wasn't at his best, Anderson has always been able to eat innings.
He threw 167 innings in 2021 and 176 innings in 2018. Both of those totals would have led the 2022 Angels and would be the highest innings count an Angels pitcher has had since Andrew Heaney in 2018.
The Angels have been missing guys who can give you six strong pretty much every time out and give you a chance to win.
That's really what you can expect from this left-hander. Don't expect him to have the 2.57 ERA he had. Don't expect him to be the journeyman he was before this season either. Expect something in the middle where he gives the Angels innings and quality outings mostly every time out.