Tyler Anderson had a strong first professional season in 2012, dominating the Low-A South Atlantic League with an advanced approach to pitching that took advantage of the league's raw hitters. His performance, which included going 12-3 with a 2.47 ERA, has Colorado Rockies fans excited and has fueled speculation that he could jump directly to Double-A, says Patrick Saunders of The Denver Post.
The most sound reason to skip Anderson directly to Double-A would be to avoid sending a lefty who doesn't have overpowering stuff to the hitter-friendly California League. Despite his success, Anderson struck out just over six batters per nine innings in 2012, and more balls in play can lead to disastrous results in the California League.
Anderson had fantastic raw numbers last season, mainly thanks to his great control (2.09 BB/9) and a low home run rate. The control should stay where it is, as Anderson is known for his plus-command, but a 0.37 HR/9 rate certainly wouldn't happen in the California League and likely is too low for a pitcher with his arsenal of stuff to maintain long-term.
Anderson profiles as a mid-rotation starter in the majors, and will be in big league camp for the first time this spring. He's not the overpowering type that will open eyes while throwing bullpens, but given the Rockies lack of organizational pitching depth, he is already one of their more refined pitchers.
With his plus change-up, Anderson could move quickly through the Rockies system, but expectations should be tempered. Without swing-and-miss stuff, Anderson could struggle in Colorado, and unlike the California League, the Rockies won't be able to protect Anderson from Coors Field.