TANNER ANDERSON, RIGHT HANDED PITCHER
|Born: May 27, 1993
Height: 6′ 2″
Drafted: 20th Round, 607th Overall, 2015
How Acquired: Minor League Free Agent
College: Harvard University
WTM’s PLAYER PROFILE
|Anderson split time between the rotation and the bullpen at Harvard in 2015, putting up a 4.08 ERA in 46.1 innings, with a 22:14 K/BB ratio. This came after he missed the entire 2014 season with an injury. He threw in the 88-92 MPH range, topping out at 94, with a curve and a slider. By late 2016, though, he was sitting at 92-94 at least some of the time. He moved to the bullpen in 2018 and was sitting at 93-94. As a reliever he was throwing a lot of sliders, with a rare change as his only other pitch. Anderson’s delivery features a high, old-style leg kick, as seen in the photo. It’s reminiscent of former Pirate Bronson Arroyo. As a college senior he signed quickly. Anderson eventually pitched briefly in the majors for the Pirates and A’s. After the A’s released him, he signed minor league deal with the Pirates.
The Pirates sent Anderson initially to Bristol and he got good results there, walking almost nobody but with a low K rate for a short reliever. He moved up to Morgantown in time to get in three games there. Anderson allowed no HRs at either stop.
Anderson started the season back in the West Virginia bullpen. He pitched well there, still with a low K rate. His numbers were inflated by one outing in which he gave up seven runs in one inning. Oddly, the Pirates promoted him to Bradenton after that outing. After batting .218 against him with the Power, opponents hit .302 against him with the Marauders. He missed extremely few bats with Bradenton. He was a very extreme groundball pitcher, with a 71.9% groundball rate.
The Pirates moved Anderson to the Altoona rotation to start the season and he was generally effective without being outstanding. He made 19 starts, then moved to the bullpen for his last 11 games. I don’t know whether that reflected a decision that he’d be better in relief or because his workload had gotten well beyond the previous year’s. He was, in fact, more effective as a reliever, with a 2.38 ERA and 220/270/293 opponents’ batting line. His numbers as a starter were 3.58 and 271/315/364. He had some trouble with left-handed hitters, who put up a .756 OPS against him. Right-handed hitters managed just .565. He remained a very strong groundball pitcher, although not so much as 2016; he had a groundball rate of 61.3%. Anderson’s K rate remained low.
The Pirates moved Anderson to the bullpen with Indianapolis and he pitched well, throwing strikes and increasing his K rate a little. He had a high ground ball rate and helped himself a great deal by keeping the ball in the park, allowing only two home runs. He had trouble with left-handed hitters, who batted .344 against him. Right-handed hitters batted just .230. A little surprisingly, the Pirates added Anderson to the 40-man roster and called him up when they needed a fresh arm in late June. He got into one blowout game and got bombed. He got a second brief callup later in July, then came up in September. After that first bad outing, he allowed three earned runs in 9.1 IP. After the season, the Pirates traded Anderson to Oakland for a player to be named later.
Anderson spent most of the season in AAA. He pitched fairly well in May and got called up for five starts in June. The first two went well, but he got hit hard after that and was sent back down. For the season as a whole opponents batted over .300 against him. He had serious gopher ball problems in AAA, allowing one every four and a half innings. Oakland outrighted him to AAA in September.
In the pandemic season, Anderson pitched briefly for Sioux City of the independent American Association. I’m not sure how that came about, because he seems to have been under contract still to Oakland, but maybe there was some arrangement. In any event, he got rocked with Sioux City.
Oakland sent Anderson to AAA, where he appeared a dozen times in relief. His ERA was good, but the walk and K rates were ominous. The A’s released him in June.
The Pirates signed Anderson when they started running short of arms due to injuries and promotions.
|2021: Minor League salary
|Signing Bonus: N/A
MiLB Debut: 2015
MLB Debut: 7/2/18
MiLB FA Eligible: 2021
MLB FA Eligible: 2027
Rule 5 Eligible: Eligible
Added to 40-Man: 6/27/2018 (since removed)
Options Remaining: 1 (USED: 2018, 2019)
MLB Service Time: 0.068
|June 10, 2015: Drafted by the Pittsburgh Pirates in the 20th round, 607th overall pick; signed on June 17.
June 27, 2018: Contract purchased by the Pittsburgh Pirates.
November 20, 2018: Traded by the Pittsburgh Pirates to the Oakland Athletics for a player to be named later; PTBNL designated as Wilkin Ramos on December 1.
September 1, 2019: Designated for assignment by the Oakland Athletics; outrighted to AAA on September 3.
June 17, 2021: Released by the Oakland Athletics.
July 6, 2021: Signed as a minor league free agent by the Pittsburgh Pirates.