Atlanta Braves 2017 Top 10 Prospects: Where Are They Now?

Dansby Swanson, Ronald Acuna Jr., Ozzie Albies (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)
Dansby Swanson, Ronald Acuna Jr., Ozzie Albies (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images) /
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7. Ian Anderson

Ian Anderson has been a top 100 prospect by all major publications for the past four seasons. Anderson was taken with the third overall pick of the 2016 draft by the Braves. He has dominated at every level so far, with the exception of his brief stop in AAA-Gwinnett last season.

Over his four minor league seasons, he has posted a 2.91 ERA and struck out 451 batters in just 377.2 innings. While his strikeout rate sits at a phenomenal 10.7 batters per nine, he has had issues with walks at various levels. His career walks per nine stands at an even four.

Anderson saw his first Triple-A action last season after going 7-5 with a 2.68 ERA in AA-Mississippi with 147 strikeouts in 111.0 innings pitched. In his 24.2 innings at AAA-Gwinnett, he gave up five homers, 18 walks, and 18 earned runs. Anderson won’t turn 22 until May 2 and is nearing his Major League debut.

He needs to prove he can handle Triple-A hitting before the Braves give him a look in the big leagues. Anderson should open the 2020 season as one of the top pitchers in Gwinnett.

With Felix Hernandez, Sean Newcomb, and Kyle Wright vying for the last two rotation spots, it leaves question marks at the backend of the rotation. It’s possible we see Anderson at some point in 2020.

That’s just to begin the season if the Braves suffer a Cole Hamels’ setback combined with ineffectiveness or injuries in the rotation, they may look to Gwinnett for help.

If Anderson has proven he can handle the final stop of the Minor League journey, he could find himself in Cobb County at some point this summer.