Transaction: Pittsburgh Pirates send RHP Tanner Anderson to the Oakland Athletics for a Player to be named later, or cash. UPDATE: RHP Wilkin Ramos named as player going to Pittsburgh.
About Anderson: Tanner Anderson was a 20th round draft pick by the Pirates in 2015 out of Harvard. The Ivy Leaguer climbed through the Pirates system at a level a season before getting the call in June of 2018. He went up and down once more before coming up in September for the rest of the season.
Anderson throws three pitches with the best being his 93 MPH sinker that pounds the bottom of the zone. He sacrifices whiffs for contact and ground balls, and has posted ground ball rates over 61% in each professional season. His slider also get grounders and he has a show me changeup that didn’t play well in his brief MLB time. Anderson has posted good enough numbers in Triple-A (2.64 ERA, 3.09 FIP in 61.1 innings) to get an opportunity, but is too hittable to be a late inning option.
Anderson has a big leg kick that evokes memories of Bronson Arroyo. It’s not a shock to see the Oakland A’s taking a flier on Anderson and his elite ground ball tendencies. He could fill a specialist role out of the bullpen, but will more than likely be on the Oakland-Las Vegas shuttle for most of the year if he’s able to stick on the Oakland 40-man.
The Pirates made this deal to clear a 40-man spot for prospects Mitch Keller, Cole Tucker, Jason Martin and J.T. Brubaker. All four of those guys were included in Lance Brozdowski’s Top 30 which can be found here.
Video courtesy of MLB.com
Prospects Live’s own Jason Peninni has seen RHP Wilkin Ramos during Oakland instructs. Here are his thoughts on the projectable right-hander.
About Ramos: “CJ Edwards/Triston McKenzie body comp; little to no weight gain from last year. Athletic delivery and arm action with little effort. Works with plus momentum direct to home with good balance. Above average extension. Fastball 88-90 with 2-seam that runs down and away from left-handed hitters. Standard three-quarters slot. Hopefully adds weight but its possible he never breaks 170 much like Edwards. Mid-70s curveball is best secondary pitch. He also flashed a changeup in the mid-80s, which was below average at present.”
Ramos is a worthwhile lottery ticket for a minimal ceiling arm like Anderson. This minor move helps both clubs.