2015 IBI Preview Capsules: RHP Cody Anderson
Despite a down 2014, Anderson can bounce back in 2015
Welcome to the 2015 IBI preview capsules! In order to prepare for the upcoming season, IBI will have a preview capsule running for every player on the 40-man roster and selected non-roster invites. To mix things up, we will be running these roughly in alphabetical order.
Previously-run previews can be found here:
Next up is right-handed starter Cody Anderson.
Cody Anderson, RHP
Throws: Right -- Bats: Right -- Entering his age-24 season -- Contract: Pre-arbitration player (under team control through 2020, on track for arbitration eligibility in 2018)
2014 Overview: Anderson entered the 2014 season as a top prospect and seemed to be ready for the challenge of Double-A. That was not the case, however, as Anderson struggled throughout the 2014 season, posting a 5.44 ERA and 4.99 FIP with Akron in 125.2 innings, making it clear the right-hander is not close to major-league ready. The organization still added him to the 40-man roster in the offseason, however, showing his future value to the organization despite his rough 2014.
Versus Right-handers: Though Anderson was definitely worse in 2014, the right-hander held his own against right-handed batters. After allowing a .592 OPS to right-handers in High-A in 2013, Anderson managed to hold them to a .664 OPS in Akron in 2014, which is not that outrageous of a jump for a pitcher making the leap to Double-A. The issue for Anderson comes with the significant drop in his strikeout rate, which went from 24.8 percent in 2013 to 16.1 percent in 2014. Anderson walked a few more right-handers in 2014, but the biggest problem going forward for him is the drop in his strikeout rate. The 24-year-old was blessed by some batted ball luck against right-handed batters in 2014, and if that dries up without his strikeout rate bouncing back, Anderson could struggle even more going forward.
Versus Left-handers: Batted ball luck helped Anderson get decent results against right-handed batters in 2014, but the right-hander had no such luck against left-handers. Anderson struggled to a 13.6 percent strikeout rate and 9.3 percent walk rate against lefties in 2014, some pretty rough results when the batter did not put the ball in play. Even worse for Anderson, when lefties did put the ball in play, they often hit the ball hard, collectively posting a .345/.409/.586 line, a .995 OPS, and a .241 isolated power. Considering the average lefty hit Anderson in 2014 better than the best hitter in all of major league baseball in 2014 (Victor Martinez led the majors with a .974 OPS), the right-hander needs a ton of improvements against left-handed batters in order to be successful and make the major leagues.
Pitch Mix: The fastball-cutter combination is a strong one for Anderson, though the right-hander is still in need of firming up his third pitch. Heading into 2014, Anderson needed to improve his changeup to give him something to use against left-handed batters. Given the way left-handers tattooed him in 2014, Anderson still has plenty of room for improvement going forward.
Fantasy Impact: Anderson is more than a long shot to make the majors this season, making him someone to ignore in redraft leagues and probably unownable in most dynasty leagues. If the potential middle-of-the-rotation starter regains his dominant 2013 form, he may be worth a flier in dynasty leagues, but Anderson needs to prove himself again before any fantasy players should own him.
Summary: The right-hander should not factor into the major league picture in 2015, but Anderson can get his future back on track. The 2014 season was certainly a disappointment for Anderson, but in the same way that the right-hander came out of nowhere to establish himself as a top prospect the year before, he could surge back in 2015. All prospects need to learn how to deal with failure in order to become successful major leaguers and 2014 represents the first time Anderson has truly failed in his professional career. How Anderson responds to that failure in 2015 will be critical to knowing what his future holds, and if the right-hander pitches well and gets back to his 2013 form, it is possible we will remember 2014 simply as a learning lesson for him, not as the beginning of the end.
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