Jason Anderson was lights out in 2005.
While the Columbus Clippers did not boast an overwhelming pitching staff in 2005, they certainly were no slouch in that department by any means. With a well rounded staff mixed with veterans and prospects, the choice was not easy in deciding the Clippers' pitcher of the year.
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The Clippers were not terrible or spectacular in any offensive or pitching categories. They were a solid team that narrowly missed the playoffs, with a core of solid all around players. But, much of the credit has to go to the team's pitching staff. Columbus was sixth in the league with a 4.32 ERA, and they were also among the league leaders in several other team pitching categories.
One of these categories the Clippers thrived in was control. In fact, they were fifth in the league in the least amount of walks with 425. That may not seem incredibly impressive until you consider that they were also second in the International League with 1,073 strikeouts. With a combination of power and control, the Clippers' staff was tough to beat in 2005.
Turning in yet another outstanding AAA season was our third place winner, Colter Bean. The tall righthander, who has proved to be a dominating minor league reliever, has yet to get his chance at the big league level, was outstanding for the Clippers in 2005. Working exclusively out of the bullpen, the side-arming Alabama native turned in a 4-7 record with a strong 3.01 ERA. Not to mention, in 71.2 innings of work, Colter allowed only 60 hits and 39 walks to go along with 82 strikeouts. With all those gaudy numbers in mind, Bean also held his opponents to a .226 batting average.
"I get that a lot but isn't that pitching?," Bean said in regard to his trick pitcher reputation. "Trying to fool the hitter so, yeah, if that is what you call it, but I know my stuff and what I can do with it so I try and use it the best I can. Pitching is one thing and one thing only and that is getting hitters out. That is the name of the game."
Sean Henn did not spend the entire season with the Clippers, but in the time he did spend with them, he was extremely effective and valuable. Henn, one of the Yankees' top pitching prospects, went 55 with a 3.23 ERA in AAA before going down with an arm injury. Not only that, but Henn allowed less than a hit per inning in his 86.2 innings of work, while striking out 64 and walking only 24.
"Mainly, I want to command each and every pitch," the lefthander told PinstripesPlus.com prior to the 2005 season. "If I can do that a little better, I'll be in good shape. But, at the same time, I don't want to be too fine."
When it came right down to it, there was no competition for the type of season that Jason Anderson had for Columbus in 2005. With that being said, the righty reliever takes home this year's pitcher of the year award. Getting to the numbers, Anderson made 55 appearances for the Clippers and compiled a 4-1 record and a 2.66 ERA. Also, the hard throwing righty struck out 60 and walked 18 in his 67.2 innings of work, while holding his opponents to dominating .190 batting average.
"Well, there is Jason Anderson," pitching coordinator, Nardi Contreras said of Anderson. "The organization has always liked him. He has gotten back that good fastball. He throws real hard, but we are just trying to work on a changeup for him. Right now, he comes with too much hard stuff. If he can work on his changeup, he still has a chance to be real good."