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The story behind Dodgers drafting top-pick Chris Anderson

June 07, 2013|By Stephen Bailey
  • The Dodgers selected Chris Anderson No. 18 overall, using their first pick on a pitcher for the 10th time in 11 years.
The Dodgers selected Chris Anderson No. 18 overall, using their first pick… (Todd Drexler / University…)

For two hours, all Logan White could do was sit in his car in the Thomas Stadium parking lot as a thunderstorm rained down on Johnson City, Tenn.

It was the night of Friday, May 17, and the Dodgers vice president of amateur scouting was waiting for a live look at Jacksonville pitcher Chris Anderson, a hard-throwing junior right-hander with three major league-ready pitches and a powerful 6-foot-4, 225-pound frame.

Anderson was already White's likely target with the Dodgers' No. 18 overall pick in the 2013 Major League Baseball amateur draft -- a player who reminds White of power pitchers Roger Clemens and Curt Schilling.

When the skies cleared and White finally got a chance to see Anderson throw, he was quickly impressed.

The 20-year-old — he’s a year young for a junior — threw 10 innings, allowing only two unearned runs and striking out nine as the Dolphins ultimately fell to East Tennessee State, 3-2, in 12 innings.

“He was throwing hard and competing in the 10th just like he was in the first,” White said.

The Dodgers selected Anderson No. 18 overall, using their first pick on a pitcher for the 10th time in 11 years. They then nabbed University of Minnesota left-hander Tom Windle in the second round, 56th overall.

Anderson, of Lino Lakes, Minn., and Windle, of Maple Grove, both provide the “Minnesota factor,” White said. He cited a study showing that the majority of major league pitchers are produced in the North and Northeast regions of the United States. Pitchers from those areas throw less before breaking into the professional ranks.

“There’s no scientific, 100%, just because the guy’s from Minnesota means he’s going to be better,” White said. “I’m not saying that. But I think it does weigh in, the fact that he didn’t throw a ton of innings just because of where he was at.”

White said that the Dodgers plan to limit both Anderson’s and Windle’s pitch counts for the remainder of this season to no more than 50 in each appearance.

Anderson pitched 104 2/3 innings for Jacksonville this season, and White said the Dodgers are in no hurry to get him out on a mound -- even though he is considered close to major-league ready.

“If we wanted to pitch him out of the bullpen, he could be here this year,” White said.

Windle also has the potential to make an immediate impact if the Dodgers wanted to use him as a lefty-on-lefty specialist. White compared him to former Kansas City Royals pitcher Charlie Leibrandt.

White said both pitchers are likely to remain starters, for now.

And he seemed particularly happy getting Anderson.

“I’ve been happy with a lot of picks in my time,” White said, "but I’m really tremendously excited with this pick because I think you guys will see this guy and I think you’re going to see a front-line guy who’s going to log 200-plus innings year in and year out.”

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