The Rangers were in desperate need of bullpen help. Good thing they got a Grant.
Rookie Grant Anderson was unfazed under the lights at a big league park. In fact, he glistened under it, showing off all the arm talent and lively movement that rocketed him to the top of Texas’ prospect pool.
The right-hander made his latest promotion look a breeze, whiffing seven of the eight batters he faced coming out of the bullpen. He nabbed a win in his first career relief appearance, mystifying the Tigers with his funky, high-legged release.
In his MLB Debut, Grant Anderson sat down 7 of the first 8 batters he faced and picked up the W 🔥
— Sporting News MLB (@sn_mlb) May 31, 2023
So, who exactly is Anderson, and what are his big-league prospects going forward? Here’s what you need to know about Texas’ latest diamond in the rough.
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Who is Grant Anderson?
Grant Anderson is a 25-year-old pitcher for the Texas Rangers. He wasn’t a highly touted prospect for the team but has since climbed all the way to the big-league level.
With big names like Evan Carter, Josh Jung, Jack Leiter and Kumar Rocker in the Rangers’ system, it’s easy to see how Anderson — with his older age profile and less clamor surrounding his amateur career — could slip through the cracks.
A McNeese State alum, Anderson didn’t quite show off the sort of overwhelming dominance in college that one might expect out of a future big leaguer.
In his final year with the Cowboys, he went 4-7 with a 3.86 ERA. He wasn’t quite the finished product, but he did have a great mix of pitches. That led the Mariners to take a flyer on him, selecting him with the 628th pick in the 2018 MLB Draft.
Anderson wouldn’t be in Seattle’s system for long. In 2019, he was dealt to the Rangers in exchange for fellow prospect pitcher Cody Sadzeck.
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The move brought with it struggles. The COVID-19 pandemic wiped out his 2020 season. In 2021, he returned to the field but endured a rocky campaign. His ERA in Double-A ball was a sky-high 6.91. He didn’t fare that much better in A+ ball, either, posting a 4.61 ERA in 27 1/3 innings of pitching.
Then, something clicked. Anderson got good. Like really good. He returned to the Double-A level in 2022 and flashed his lively pitch selection, striking out 75 batters and posting a 2.80 ERA. He even earned a promotion to Triple-A for his efforts.
Anderson continued to shine in the Puerto Rican Winter League, logging a minuscule ERA of 0.47. He had 24 strikeouts to just three walks, once again showcasing his capabilities as a fiery arm out of the bullpen.
The 2023 campaign has been much like last year for Anderson, who climbed from Double-A to the big leagues in just 15 games. He wasn’t ranked as one of Texas’ Top-30 prospects ahead of the season, but best believe Rangers fans will know his name after his excellent performance against Detroit on Tuesday.