Chris Anderson wasn’t viewed as an elite major league prospect coming out of Centennial High School in 2010. Three years later, the 6-4, 215-pound righthander is a first-round draft pick.
The Los Angeles Dodgers selected Anderson with the 18th overall pick in Thursday night’s Major League Baseball draft, making him the highest pick ever from Jacksonville University and the highest pick from Minnesota since the Twins took Joe Mauer first overall in 2001.
“I wasn’t surprised,” Anderson said. “I felt I had a chance to go in the middle of the first round. The Dodgers had expressed a lot of interest in me.”
Anderson, 20, was Minnesota’s Gatorade Player of the Year in 2010 after going 6-2 with a 1.16 ERA and batting .437 with six home runs for Centennial. The Cubs drafted him that year — in the 35th round, with the 1,060th overall pick.
After two so-so seasons for Jacksonville, Anderson turned heads with a 96-miles-per-hour fastball last summer in the Cape Cod League. He continued climbing draft boards this year for the Dolphins, going 7-5 with a 2.49 ERA and 101 strikeouts in 104⅓ innings.
“A lot of it goes down to hard work,” Anderson said. “As soon as I went to the Cape, I knew I had to get better.”
Baseball America had Anderson ranked as the No. 45 prospect heading into the draft. But mlb.com had him at No. 16.
Dodgers take Windle, too
The Dodgers selected another Minnesotan in the second round with the 56th overall pick, taking Gophers lefthander Tom Windle, who went 6-4 with a 2.14 ERA this year, earning first-team All-Big Ten honors.
Boldt still available
Red Wing High School outfielder Ryan Boldt, a projected first-round pick before injuring his knee, wasn’t selected in the first 73 picks and remains available heading into the third round.