The most dominating numbers for a starting pitcher this season on any level of professional baseball do not belong to Jose Fernandez or Johnny Cueto although both come awfully close. Chase Anderson, who pitches for the Double A Mobile BayBears in the Southern League, owns the most impressive numbers of them all. The Arizona Diamondbacks’ late bloomer is 4-2 with a 0.69 ERA in six starts covering 39 innings. It begs the question of how can a guy giving up less than three-quarters of a run per game have two losses?
The righty-throwing Anderson was taken by the D’backs in the 9th round of the 2009 draft. He bounced back and forth between starting and relieving through his first three levels of Minor League ball. Unfortunately, he missed almost all of the 2011 season with a strained flexor tendon in his pitching elbow. In 2012, he started 21 games for Mobile and posted a 2.86 ERA with 97 strikeouts and only 21 walks in 104 innings of work. He spent all of 2013 with Triple A Reno once again shuttling between the rotation and the bullpen. The Oklahoma product fell off to a 5.73 ERA in 26 games, 13 of them starts. Management felt another stint of starting with the BayBears could help Anderson regain some lost confidence.
Has the move ever paid off. The 6-foot Anderson has given up only 22 hits and six walks in his 39 innings while striking out 38. He has pitched at least six innings in every start and did not allow the opposing team to score in four of them. Anderson has not allowed a run over his last 19 innings. At 25, he might be too old for the prospect label but there is no doubt he is on the Arizona radar.