In yet another Valley League success story, former Front Royal Cardinal (2013) Justin Anderson made his major league debut last night!
Drafted by the Angels in the 14th round in 2014, Justin has slowly worked his way to the pinnacle of the game. He has been considered a “prospect” for quite some time, but he didn’t always know where his electric stuff was going.
Well, he certainly seems to have figured something out this year. Out of Spring Training, he was assigned to Double-A Mobile, where he threw 3 2/3 shutout innings, allowing only 2 hits, 1 walks, and striking out 8.
Seeing he had overmatched his opponents, the Angels moved him to Triple-A Salt Lake, where Justin did even better, throwing 5 shutout, no-hit innings, with 1 walk and 6 strikeouts. In his minor league career, he went 21-27, 4.80, with a 1.51 WHIP, 3.4 BB/9, and 6.8 K/9 in 389 2/3 innings.
Last night, Justin was called into the game in the 8th inning, with the Angels holding a 2-0 lead over the Astros- the Astros!. Justin gave up 2 hits, but did not allow a walk or run. He struck out Carlos Correa for his first major league strikeout. He was assigned a “hold.”
According to statcast, in his first outing, Justin threw four 2-seam fastballs, averaging 99.2 mph. Also three 4-seamers, at 98.9 mph, and thirteen sliders, averaging 87.8 mph. Wow. If he can control this stuff, he’ll be in the majors for a while.
Back in 2013 in the Valley, Justin went 1-3, 4.66, with a 1.61 WHIP, 4.4 BB/9, and 5.6 K/9 in 36 2/3 innings pitched. He is the 21st Front Royal alumnus to make the majors, and, according to ATVL’s list, the 208th VBLer overall. He’s the second in 2018, following only Ryan Yarbrough (Luray 2012).