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2017 Red Sox top prospect voting: Is Shaun Anderson Brian Johnson part two?

It’s a boring, imperfect comp, but it’s there.

Kelly O’Connor;

We’re almost done with the prospect voting for 2017. Taking the second to last spot on our top-twenty list is Shaun Anderson.

Anderson was drafted a college reliever in the third round of last year’s draft by the Red Sox. Don’t be fooled by the role at the University of Florida, though. He only found himself as a reliever (and their closer in 2016) because the roster was loaded with starting pitching talent that included A.J. Puk, Logan Shore and Dane Dunning. Anderson would almost certainly have cracked the rotation for just about every other college in the country.

As such, the Red Sox made the easy decision to develop Anderson as a starting pitching as he joined their organization. Like most draftees, he didn’t get a ton of time to prove himself in his first professional season. He threw just 2 23 innings over two starts, and they did not go well. He allowed a whopping nine runs for a 30.37 ERA in Lowell. He did strike out four while walking none, in the interest of full disclosure.

Still, we can’t judge what Anderson did in just two starts that were about an inning each. Particularly since he was coming off a college career in which he threw out of the bullpen. The scouting reports still point to potential for a solid major-league starter. He doesn’t have one signature pitch, but he has four decent ones. The fastball sits in the low-90’s, but has good movement when it’s working. It just needs more consistency. He also throws a cutter and a slider which are virtually the same pitch just at different speeds, and it/they are probably his best offering. His curveball and his changeup are also solid in their current form and could be strong secondaries. It is this solid but unexciting profile — along with his University of Florida ties — that draws the comparisons to Brian Johnson. It’s something of a lazy comp (most comps are, to be honest), but you’ll hear it plenty over the next few years.

Looking ahead to next season, Anderson is slated to start the year in Greenville. Despite the slow start, there’s no reason a relatively high-round draft selection wouldn’t start his age-22 season in full-season ball. Even better, if he proves last year’s hiccup was simply a fluke, he could find himself in Salem to finish the season.

  1. Andrew Benintendi
  2. Rafael Devers
  3. Jason Groome
  4. Sam Travis
  5. Bobby Dalbec
  6. Brian Johnson
  7. Marco Hernandez
  8. Roniel Raudes
  9. Michael Chavis
  10. C.J. Chatham
  11. Josh Ockimey
  12. Nick Longhi
  13. Travis Lakins
  14. Mike Shawaryn
  15. Jake Cosart
  16. Jalen Beeks
  17. Trey Ball
  18. Luis Ysla
  19. Shaun Anderson

We have one more spot left to complete our list. As I explained last time, there was some suspicious activity with the poll system. Because of that, we’re still using the “rec” system. Go down to the comments below and “rec” the comment that corresponds to the player you believe deserves the last spot. If that player isn’t there, make your own comment. That will count as one vote and others can rec that for their vote.