For the last couple of seasons, I have been waiting for a Tyler Anderson breakout. Over the course of 2017 and 2018, he induced whiffs on 11.9 percent of his pitches, which is good for the 21st-highest SwStr% among the 91 pitchers who have thrown at least 250 innings over that span. As I seemingly write in every other column, it is well established that SwStr% is strongly correlated with strikeout rate, yet Anderson’s 22.3 percent K% from the last two years ranks just 41st out of those same 91 pitchers.
The reason for Anderson’s apparent underachievement is clear: he doesn’t get many called strikes. The Rockies’ lefty throws a lot of pitches in the strike zone, and he gets swings on those pitches at an unusually high rate. That helps his swinging strike rate, but the flipside is that he has frozen batters at a subpar 16.5 percent rate over his career.
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