Brett Anderson had a bit of a coming-out party in 2010, though injuries didn’t allow him to fully put his talents on display. You can see by his numbers what could be possible:

Seven Wins
112.1 Innings
2.80 ERA
1.19 WHIP
75 Strikeouts (6.01 K/9)
22 Walks (1.76 BB/9)
.294 BABIP

It was problems with his elbow that caused him to miss significant time, but it is extremely hard to argue with the results. The most impressive number is probably his control, and that is something that is extremely realistic. In his rookie year, he posted a BB/9 of 2.31 (over 175.1 innings). Over his minor-league career, he’s at 1.88 over 244.2 innings.

Obviously, there is fear of a slight regression, but it certainly isn’t a big one. He has elite control, and that goes a long way toward helping Anderson post impressive WHIPs.

The next impressive feat is his ground-ball rate, which was at 54.6 percent after posting a 50.9 percent mark in his rookie campaign.

So he has great control and is a ground-ball pitcher who calls a pitcher’s park home. How much more do we need to know?

In fact, things get even more impressive. While he struggled with the strikeouts, the injury may have had an impact on that. In his rookie season, he posted a 7.70 K/9, and over his minor-league career he was at 9.60. The fact is there is a good chance he improves here, giving him the perfect trio of skills.

Yes, you can argue that he was slightly lucky with a 75.4 percent strand rate, but improved strikeouts are going to help to offset any regression there. The fact of the matter is Anderson brings the potential to excel in three key aspects of pitching, making him a pitcher we should all target on draft day.

Granted, pitching for the A’s may not give him a tremendous number of opportunities for wins. However, with the bullpen they have assembled (assuming the scare for Andrew Bailey is in fact nothing serious, as they are currently saying), he just needs to get them to the sixth inning with the lead and there is a great chance for victory.

You should have Bailey locking down the ninth. Before him, you have key free-agent imports Brian Fuentes and Grant Balfour. Let’s not forget about names like Michael Wuertz, Craig Breslow and others. Oakland’s bullpen has the potential to be one of the best, if not the best in the business. That turns the game from a nine-inning affair into a six-inning one.

My projection for Anderson in 2011:

180.0 IP, 14 W, 3.15 ERA, 1.19 WHIP, 150 K (7.50 K/9), 40 BB (2.00 BB/9)

According to Mock Draft Central, Anderson currently has an ADP of 147.93. That’s the 15th round, making him a tremendous value. It’s hard to call him a sleeper, because we all know his name, but he is more than worth grabbing.

What are your thoughts on Anderson? How good do you think he can be? Is he a player you are targeting?

**** Make sure to order your copy of the Rotoprofessor 2011 Fantasy Baseball Draft Guide, selling for just $5, by clicking here. ****

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