Every year there is some player who signs a minor league contract that just surprises you. It’s not because the player was good or has upside, nope it’s because you thought the guy was dead.
Matt Anderson is that guy this year. The 34-year-old was the top pick in the 1997 draft by the Tigers and later closed for Detroit. Anderson was a curious first round choice by the Tigers because he was exclusively a reliever in college prior to the draft and that a team would take a relief prospect first overall simply made no sense to anyone.
It wasn’t long before Anderson proved that the Tigers didn’t know what they were doing in the 1997 draft. While he did stick in the majors for a few years he was mediocre at best. He had… er has a career 5.19 ERA in the big leagues in 257 games.
Five years removed from his last big league pitch Anderson has inked a minor league deal with the Philadelphia Phillies. Which begs the question… Is he going to be used as organizational depth or put in a cage as some sort of carnival oddity at minor league stadiums?
Andersons last two stops in the minors were horrors themselves. He wasn’t highly thought of during his run in the majors and hasn’t shown anyone any reason to think he’s got anything more going this time.
Who knows what could have been had he not thrown that octopus?