MATTHEW ANDERSON, RIGHT HANDED PITCHER
|Born: July 29, 1994
Drafted: 10th Round, 315th Overall, 2016
How Acquired: Draft
College: Morehead State University
WTM’S PIRATE PLAYER PROFILES
|A senior draftee, Anderson led Morehead State in strikeouts in all four of his seasons there. He also led the nation in strikeouts per nine innings in his senior year. He only throws in the upper-80s to low-90s, reaching 94. He also throws an overhand curve, along with a slider and change. His swing-and-miss tendency comes more from deception than from outstanding stuff. Anderson had an ERA over 6.00 in each of his first three years, but lowered it to 2.95 in 2016, with a 1.28 WHIP. He struck out 12.8 per nine innings, but also walked 4.1. Baseball America rated him the 298th best prospect in the draft. The slot amount for Anderson’s spot was $156,600, but Anderson got a bonus of only $10,000, which is an indication of how little leverage college seniors have.
The Pirates assigned Anderson to Morgantown and he had what amounted to two completely different seasons. He made seven starts and seven relief appearances, but that shouldn’t have made much difference, as he pitched two to four innings in most of his outings regardless. In fact, he went more than three innings in only one start. In his first nine appearances, Anderson had an ERA of 2.75, a WHIP of 1.02, and a K/9 of 14.2. In his last five appearances, he had an ERA of 7.94, a WHIP of 1.59, and a K/9 of 8.7. Even with the late slump, his peripheral numbers on the year were better than his ERA, and he allowed no HRs. He was very tough on right-handed hitters, holding them to a .496 OPS. Left-handed hitters didn’t do all that well against him, with a .676 OPS.
The Pirates evidently thought Anderson’s first half in 2016 was a better indication of his ability than his second half, as he opened 2017 in the West Virginia rotation. His performance was uneven; he’d have stretches in which he was very strong, but then have a bad stretch where his control was poor and he’s run up his pitch count. He moved mainly to the bullpen after early June, then was shut down for the season’s last month. He was better in relief, holding opponents to a 120/235/240 line. As a starter he gave up a 238/321/368 line. Anderson had a large platoon split, allowing left-handed hitters a .727 OPS and right-handed hitters .532.
Anderson is an intriguing pitcher due to the swing-and-miss tendency. The Pirates could try to develop him strictly as a reliever from here on out.
|2018: Minor league contract
|Signing Bonus: $10,000
MiLB Debut: 2016
MiLB FA Eligible: 2022
MLB FA Eligible:
Rule 5 Eligible: 2019
Added to 40-Man:
Options Remaining: 3
MLB Service Time: 0.000
|June 10, 2016: Drafted by the Pittsburgh Pirates in the 10th round, 315th overall pick; signed on June 15.|