Anderson’s favorite secondary pitch was used 24.8% of the time in 2019 and continued to be one of his more effective pitchs, generating good whiffs (15.5%) and held hitters to a .274 wOBA despite also being used for strikes (39.5% zone). Anderson primarily employs it at or out of the bottom of the zone and it exhibits below-average drop but excellent fade away from lefties or in to RHB.
Batters chose to ignore Anderson’s 12-to-6-tending curve in 2019, swinging on only 25% of them total and only 18.5% when out of the zone. When they did offer though, batters were able to slug an impressive .784 against it. While this was higher than its .526 xSLG indicating there may have been some bad luck, this still looks to be a permanent backend piece to his repertoire.
With pretty average velocity at 93.3 mph but good rise and armside run, Anderson’s fastball netted mixed results, generating a reasonably good swinging strike rate overall at 11.5% but also proving hittable the 57.6% of the time it was in the zonewith a 84.6% contact rate. Anderson will occassionally mix the fourseamer with a sinker (about 17% of his total fastballs), which shows about 3 inches more drop and 6 inches more tail despite coming in at the same velocity. The sinker doesn’t get nearly the whiffs (6.4%) but does encourage more grounders (50% vs. 27% for the fourseamer).
Anderson relied more heavily on his cutter in 2019 (14.2%) than in previous years, perferring to use it primarily in on the inner half against lefties and its good rising action with average cut held opposing hitters to a .244 wOBA overall. Anderson also got a 10% SwStr out of it, the best year for it of his career, and thew it in the zone 44% of the time.
Anderson took a step back in ’18, and one of the reasons was a jump in home runs allowed on his four-seamer from five to 16 (20.5% HR/FB). He lost a little ride on it and the swinging-strike rate fell below double digits, but it still carried a 2.5 pVal.
His changeup sat 10 mph off his fastball, got a ton of arm-side run and was a fantastic whiff-inducer in ’18. It sported a 39.4% chase rate, a 42.1% zone rate, and a 15.8% swinging-strike rate. That’s painfully close to a Money Pitch, and it’s one heck of a put-away weapon.
Anderson’s hook picked up more bend and drop in ’18 and added roughly 10 percentage points to its zone rate—though perhaps a few too many of those were hittable, as it dropped from a 6.2 pVal to a 1.9 over a comparable sample. That came on the back of a near-five-percentage-point tumble in swinging-strike rate (7.7%) and a similar fall in chase rate (25.5%). It also dropped its ground-ball rate from above 60% to the low 40s. In all, it went from quite an effective secondary to a shrug-inducer.
The 31-year-old’s two-seamer lost nearly seven percentage points in chase rate (down to 25.5%) and was generally trashed for a -3.3 pVal. It also carried an unimpressive ground-ball rate (43.5%) and an unsightly .286 ISO allowed.
While Anderson used his cutter as a way to steal strikes in ’17, it lost a lot of oomph by tumbling to a 31.9% zone rate from close to 50% the year prior. That’s not nearly high enough to help him get ahead in counts. Sure, it picked up bend and seven percentage points on its chase rate, but its swinging-strike percentage dropped, so it wasn’t an effective whiff-inducer.