With the help of RHP Shaun Anderson, the Florida Gators are on the verge of heading back to the College World Series for consecutive years. He has been relied on in many situations this year and delivered.
On Friday afternoon, the Boston Red Sox drafted the Coral Springs native in the third round of the 2016 MLB Draft.
Anderson has transformed into one of the best closers in all of college baseball this spring and he was rewarded Friday. He is the sixth Gator taken this year and the fourth pitcher.
At 6 feet 5 inches tall and weighing 230 pounds, from the batter’s box point of view, Shaun Anderson is a big body on the mound. He has the capability of consistently hitting 94-96 mph on the gun while on the mound. Excluding the fastball, Anderson has an array of pitches he can choose from; he can throw a hard curve/slider in the low 80s range, with a cutter that hits mid to high 80s, while also having a low 80s change-up in the bag.
Anderson is a strike thrower, commands the ball well, and gets the job done. In his career at Florida he has 85 punch outs, while only allowing 15 baserunners due to walks.
Anderson has the stuff to be in one organizations bullpen, but also has the ability to become a starter in the professional level.
Career at Florida:
Anderson, the product out of American Heritage, chose to be a Gator after being drafted in the 40th round in the 2013 MLB First-Year Player draft. He was the last pick in that draft.
During his first year on campus, Anderson did not have the year he would have liked. He appeared in 14 games, pitched 17.2 innings while posting an ERA of 5.60. As a freshman, Anderson was on the 2014 SEC First-Year Academic Honor Roll.
As a sophomore, Anderson’s role with the Gators increased. He got his first start as a Gator on April 14th versus Florida State, Anderson allowed two hits, and one run in 2.1 innings of work. Outside of his one start, Anderson also made 15 appearances out of the pen. Some positives signed showed for Anderson as he lowered his ERA to 4.09 (5.60 in 2014) and increased his strikeout numbers by 13.
Since arriving in Gainesville, Anderson’s junior campaign has by far been his most productive year. His first two years on campus alone, he combined to pitch 39.2 innings, this year he has surpassed that total by throwing 43 innings in 33 appearances of relief pitching. Anderson has posted a 3-0 record while leading the ball club in saves (13). He is only allowing the opposing batters to have a .195 BA while Anderson’s on the mound. He also lowered his ERA by 3.04 in one season; Anderson also fanned a career high 56 batters this season.
Chances Anderson Returns:
In my opinion, Anderson is a toss up to return. According to Baseball America’s College Top 100 Draft Prospects from this preseason, RHP Shaun Anderson was the 66th best prospect on the board headed into the season. After a season like he’s had, Anderson’s stock has exponentially increased over just a few month span. Anderson has developed into being the Gator’s best closing pitcher this year with 13 saves.
Back in 2013, Anderson was drafted with the last pick of the MLB Draft in the 40th round by the Washington Nationals, if he is not drafted within the top several rounds, I expect Shaun Anderson to be your Gators closer again next year.