Patience is not a problem for Carolina pitcher Cody Anderson.
The reliever-turned-starter is excelling in Zebulon for the Mudcats. Anderson is 4-2 with a 2.74 ERA in his eight starts in 2013. His ERA is ninth-best in the Carolina League and the right-hander has demonstrated impeccable control with a strikeout-to-walk ratio of over 4-to-1.
For the native of Quincy, CA, it has been a steady and measured path to success on the baseball diamond.
Coming out of high school as an outfielder, Anderson had limited experience on the mound at Feather River Community College. The Tampa Bay Rays had seen enough however to draft the righty as a pitcher in the 17th round of the 2010 draft.
Anderson chose not to sign with the Rays, but not for the typical reasons.
“I just was not ready,” Anderson recalled. “I only threw 14 innings in college and did not pitch much in high school.”
“I am sure the deal was fine, I just was not ready to go.”
With an extra year of pitching under his belt, Anderson’s stock improved slightly and the next year he was drafted in the 14th round by the Tribe. It was an opportunity that Anderson could not pass up.
“It felt right,” Anderson recalled. “I wanted to get into pro ball and start a career.”
“It is phenomenal,” Anderson added. “They take really good care of us. I couldn’t be more happy.”
Anderson transformation in baseball has not been limited to the move from the outfield to the pitching mound. There has also been a shift from a reliever role to starter.
Building arm strength and momentum with each appearance, Anderson is one of the few bright spots for a Mudcats pitching staff that ranks last in the Carolina League. He turned in a sensational performance Tuesday night at home versus the Salem Red Sox, going six innings and yielding only one run with nine strikeouts and no walks.
“He is a guy that has got a good fastball and that is a great place to start,” Carolina manager Dave Wallace said. “He can locate, he can drive it downhill. His breaking ball is developing and he has got a pretty good change-up.”
“I think he has got a really good shot to pitch for a long time.”
While the physical attributes of Anderson are opening eyes with the Cleveland organization, one other thing that stands out to Wallace is the patience Anderson has displayed in his young baseball career.
“It is pretty mature to recognize that (not being ready in 2010 to sign with Tampa Bay),” Wallace said. “His background is a little bit different, coming from a small town and not really pitching a lot.”
“That experience-factor is huge,” Wallace added. “That is one of the reasons we are pretty excited about him. Once he logs more innings and starts to learn how to pitch, we are really excited about what he can do.”
Anderson’s pragmatic approach has served him well, but like all other minor leaguers in the Cleveland organization, he cannot help but wonder what it would feel like to pitch from the mound at Progressive Field.
“It would be huge,” Anderson said.”I know everyone in my hometown would just love it.”