The Red Sox kicked off day two of the 2016 MLB Draft with another pitcher. Boston selected 21-year-old Shaun Anderson with their first of eight picks on the day, and the 88th overall. The right-handed Anderson is yet another Florida Gator taken in this very Gator-heavy draft, and the fourth pitcher alone from the team selected.
Anderson has four pitches and can throw strikes, but served as the closer at Florida. He might be a rotation piece in the future, and hey, could have been a starter if not for all the other starters at Florida. Anderson also ranked number 151 on Baseball America’s pre-draft list, with plenty of intriguing notes in the scouting report to go with that number:
On most college pitching staffs, a pitcher like Anderson would be the centerpiece; he's a strong, well-built righthander with command and a plus fastball. At Florida, however, Anderson is just one of the guys, and he's worked almost exclusively out of the bullpen for the Gators. Last summer in the Cape Cod League, Anderson sat more in the low 90s, but showed potential with his changeup and slider. This spring, all of Anderson's stuff is better. He has a 93-95 mph fastball that can bump 96, and he's shown the ability to command the pitch. He throws a hard slider at 84-88 with deep 11-to-5 break; it projects as an above-average pitch.
Baseball America also mentions that Anderson could move through the system quickly as a reliever, so it will be interesting to see which way Boston goes with this. Is Anderson someone who could help them out sooner than later out of the pen? Or is he a pitcher with a real chance to start who should get the chance to prove that’s the case on a slower development path?
Either way, he might be a little bit under slot given he was selected 88th overall but ranked 151st on Baseball America’s list. If that’s the case, Anderson could help the Red Sox afford their first pick, Jason Groome, who is reportedly looking for "top 5" money after going 12th overall. Anderson’s bonus demands aren’t known for sure, though, so this is admittedly guesswork based on his perception in the industry.
The Red Sox will next pick in the fourth round, at selection 118.