Brett Anderson missed a significant portion of 2010 with an elbow issue, but when he took the mound he showed why he is considered one of the best young pitchers in baseball. He went 7-6 with a sparkling 2.80 ERA and 1.19 WHIP over 112.1 innings of work.
There is no questioning the skill, but how good can he be? That’s the question that leads to today’s Wild Prediction:
Brett Anderson will be a Top 3 AL-Only fantasy pitcher in 2011
I know what you are thinking. His 6.0 K/9 in 2010 makes it impossible for him to be that highly ranked in 2011. However, over his minor league career he showed significantly more strikeout potential. While a lot of that time was spent in the lower levels, he always showed the ability to strikeout over a batter per inning. The see him take a significant step forward would not be very surprising.
You couple that with elite control (2.10 BB/9 over 287.2 Major League innings) and he instantly gets moved into the upper tier. Then, when you throw in the ballpark he pitches in and things get even better.
Plus, he is a groundball pitcher (54.6% groundball rate in 2010), just improving the likelihood that he excels. With good control, improved strikeouts and getting consistent groundballs, there is an awful lot to like.
However, his ability is only half the battle. He needs to outperform the other pitchers in the AL to fully achieve this projection. Who else is likely to be in the discussion?
- CC Sabathia
- Justin Verlander
- Jered Weaver
- Felix Hernandez
- Jon Lester
- Francisco Liriano
- David Price
- Dan Haren
Is it going to be easy? Absolutely not, but if Anderson takes a significant step forward in his strikeout rate to go along with the other skills he’s shown, the potential is there for him to be among the elite.
Chance of Happening: 5%
What are your thoughts of Anderson? Is there any chance he becomes an elite option? Why or why not?
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Make sure to check out our previous Wild Predictions:
- Jay Bruce & Colby Rasmus Will Combine For At Least 65 HR
- Jayson Werth will have less than 160 runs scored and RBI combined
- Ryan Zimmerman will outperform Evan Longoria in 2011
- James Shields will post a sub-3.40 ERA and sub-1.20 WHIP
- Austin Jackson will struggle so badly that by June 15 that he will have spent time at Triple-A
- Matt LaPorta will hit at least 30 HR in 2011