Atlanta Braves 22-year-old Ian Anderson out of Shenendehowa High School in upstate, Clifton Park, NY. I mean way up state, like a place where his high school season was maybe three weeks. Why would the Braves want to sign him? Because he was good. Good enough for the Braves to make him their No. 1 selection, No. 3 over all in the 2016 Major League Baseball draft. Giving him Around $4 million to sign.
Well yesterday he made his major league debut in the first game of a seven inning twin bill in Atlanta against the Yankees. All he did was throw six innings of one hit baseball, taking a no-hitter into the sixth inning where with one out, Luke Voit hit a first pitch 94 mph fastball to the opposite field for a home run. It would be the Yankees first and only hit in a game that saw their star and high priced starter Gerrit Cole get lit up by the Atlanta offense. When Braves leadoff batter Ronald Acuña Jr. blasted a 473 foot shot deep to left in the first inning, it was the beginning of what would be a not as usual start for Cole. He would give up five earned runs on five hits, three of which were homers. That is not who Cole is. A bad day? It happens to the best of them. Anderson finished with a line of: 1 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 1 BB, 6 Ks and 1 hit batter. This was not a surprise for me.
I have followed his progress from when I went to see him in Binghamton, NY at the NY State baseball championships in 2016. I then followed him, along with a number of other young Atlanta Braves arms in rookie ball in Florida, almost every day for almost two months. Then watched them on and off through AA and AAA. The Yankees got a glimpse of what could be the next coming of the Braves domination of the National League East.
Add the likes of outstanding young players like Ozzie Albies, Dansby Swanson, Acuña and Austin Riley. Plus soon to be called up high ceiling prospects Cristian Pache and Drew Waters and you have a new powerhouse brewing in Atlanta. And they haven’t yet tapped into the boatload of young power arms in their system. Sorry Mets fans but this is a steamroller headed for Queens for the next eight years. Jacob deGrom can only give you about 14 wins a year. If he can get some offensive support.
It is eerily reminiscent of me watching the Braves at Shea Stadium in 1990. I didn’t think that much about names like John Smoltz, Tom Glavine or Steve Avery at the time.
This sprint for the playoffs type of season has seen a need to bring up prospects sooner than was expected because of injuries and positive covid tested players. It has given some of these young players the opportunity to show what they can do. Today was an example of taking advantage of that situation for Anderson. I know first hand that he is a determined, focused, and hard worker. This was no fluke yesterday.
So what do the Mets have down on the farm? Nothing like this and if they keep giving their top prospects away for veterans who don’t produce? Well. maybe they can change to growing vegetables on those farms.
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