“If I told you my story
You would hear Hope that wouldn’t let go
And if I told you my story
You would hear Love that never gave up
And if I told you my story
You would hear Life, but it wasn’t mine”
~Big Daddy Weave
The Dodgers‘ farm system is full of rising stars, and Issac Anderson is no exception. Isaac was drafted in the 34th round by the Royals in 2013, but decided to return to the College of Southern Idaho. After transferring to Wichita State, he was drafted in the 19th round by the Cincinnati Reds. He declined to sign again, and return to the Shockers for his junior season, where he was was 5-7 with a 3.94 ERA in 15 games, which saw him have 13 starts, 74 strikeouts and 25 walks in 77-⅔ innings. The 6’2, 185 lb. righty was drafted by the Los Angeles Dodgers in the 2015 draft in the 40th round, and eventually signed with the club on June 14, 2015.
Anderson is progressing quickly through the Dodgers’ system. After starting the season with Low-A Great Lakes, he has worked his way up to Double-A Tulsa of the Texas League. Isaac was kind enough to take some time this week to talk to me about his journey to this point of his career.
“Well, I started the season in Great Lakes where I finished last season. I showed starts that had promise in the first half of the season but also showed a couple starts that were sub par. At the All-Star break I just had some time to myself on the golf course and had some time to collect my thoughts. I was trying to be too fine, please everybody, and do certain things that just wasn’t who I was as a pitcher,” he said.
“Since the All-Star break, I have had a simplistic approach: Do my best, trust in God’s plan, and He will take care of the rest. I then saw a promotion to High-A Rancho where my mindset maintained the same. All I’ve heard was “keep the ball down”, “don’t be upset if you give up home runs” and that the Cal League was a hitters’ league. But I just wanted to continue to fill up the zone and give the team the best chance to win that I could, knowing that if I did my best, the results would take care of themselves and I would leave the field everyday satisfied in my efforts.”
Anderson was 3-0 for the Quakes, with a 1.13 ERA in 16 innings pitched, including 19 strikeouts and no walks. He was called up to Tulsa on Aug 5th.
“Never did I expect to get called up after three appearances in High-A and end my first season in Double-A,” Anderson explained. “But nothing changes, we are in a playoff hunt, and I’m going to do my best on the field, be the best teammate I can be, and try to help reach our potential as a team.”
When asked about what it is like to play with some of the other prospects in the Dodgers system like Cody Bellinger, Kyle Garlick and Chase De Jong, he said, “It is a treat. The guys you listed and all the other guys in the clubhouse are not only tremendously skilled but their personalities in the clubhouse, and their great teammate behavior are what set them apart in my opinion.”
“It’s especially nice being in the same rotation as Chase, ” he continued. “I currently follow him in the order of the rotation so it’s great to watch him attack hitters and pick his brain to help me the following day. The whole team was very welcoming from the first day I stepped foot in the clubhouse.”
In one start so far at Tulsa, Anderson has a 1.80 ERA with six strikeouts in five innings pitched. Isaac currently uses four different pitches in his attack against hitters — a fastball, a curve, a slider and a changeup. This year his fastball has been clocked up to 94 MPH.
Growing up in Idaho, he was a fan of the Seattle Mariners. “They were the closest team to us and the local FOX network aired their games every night. So I spent my evenings staying up late and falling asleep watching Mariners baseball games. When I was young is also when Ichiro came over and created a lot of hype so I was an Ichiro fan as a boy,” he said.
Being that all of my posts have songs for titles, I had to ask him what his type of music he likes to listen to. “I really don’t have just one! I really enjoy country music, listen to Christian music the day I pitch and day after. All depends on the day and mood,” he said. He did suggest these three songs for me, however — “Happiness” by Needtobreath, “My Story” by Big Daddy Weave and “Sparrows” by Jason Gray.
Look for Isaac Anderson to continue to trust in God, work on his craft, and work his way up in the Dodgers farm system. I for one am looking forward to watching the rest of his career and hopefully see him debut and help out the Dodgers one day very soon.