Diamondbacks lefthander Brett Anderson has been impressive at low Class A South Bend this season . . . even more so when you consider he just turned 19 in February.
A second-round pick last year out of Stillwater (Okla.) High, Anderson is 2-2, 1.59 with a 26-5 strikeout-walk ratio in 23 innings in the Midwest League. Perhaps most impressive though, Anderson’s two wins were South Bend’s first two of the season. The Silver Hawks now stand at 5-11 in the MWL’s Eastern Division.
“He’s been as advertised,” Diamondbacks farm director A.J. Hinch said. “Coming out of high school he was touted as a guy with good feel and had good polish. He’s shown us he can step in and give a team the chance to win every time he steps on the mound.”
Anderson tops out at 90 mph with his fastball, usually sitting in the 87-89 mph range. But he’s got a plus changeup and mixes in a curveball and slider to complete the repertoire.
“We might take away one of the breaking balls, but he’s having tremendous success so we’re not going to tinker with something that’s working, obviously,” Hinch said. “He’s been outstanding. To do what he’s doing at 19 years old . . . he’s done what we expected in some respects. But in other respects he’s exceeded those expectations.”
Another arm to watch on the South Bend staff is righthanded reliever Ramon Sanchez. Signed out of the Dominican Republic in 2002, the 22-year-old righthander struggled mightily with his command in 2006 with the Silver Hawks, going 1-10, 7.66 in 67 innings.
But he’s gained consistency with his mechanics–most notably his arm slot and has been impressive so far this season. In 10 innings, Sanchez is 0-1, 0.87 with a 10-1 strikeout-walk ratio and has already notched a pair of saves.
A power arm, Sanchez’ fastbal sits in the 92-94 mph range and tops out at 95. he still needs to command his hard, 84-86 mph slider better however to keep up his current string of success.
“He’s repeating that level, but he’s a high arm strength guy,” Hinch said. “He just needs to maintain his delivery with a little more authority and consistently harness the command of both pitches.
“The performance has been there and we hope he continues to build on that.”
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