When the Atlanta Braves selected Shenendehowa High School graduate Ian Anderson third overall in the 2016 MLB draft, it marked the highest position any player from the Capital Region has ever been drafted in a sport (remember: Tim Stauffer was born in Maine). Talk about expectations. So far, the 22-year-old has lived up to his draft status and is on the doorstep of what could potentially be a successful career in the majors.
The 6-foot-3, 170-pound right-handed pitcher has quickly climbed through the Atlanta Braves organization and could potentially make his debut in 2020, assuming there is some semblance of a season in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. Widely considered the No.1 pitching prospect in the Atlanta system, Anderson has risen from rookie ball in the Gulf Coast League to its AAA club in Gwinnett, GA in his four professional seasons since signing for a $4 million bonus following his career at Shen.
In 80 professional outings (all starts), Anderson has posted an excellent 2.91 ERA and struck out 451 batters in 377.2 innings. He was selected to the All-Star Futures Game in 2019. If Anderson advances to the majors, he will join boyhood friend, 21-year-old Kevin Huerter—a breakout star for the National Basketball Association’s Atlanta Hawks—at the top of the professional sports ranks in The ATL. (Anderson and Huerter grew up playing Little League together and were teammates on Shen’s 2016 state championship baseball squad.) What a reunion that would be.