As the Phillies wait and hope for Mickey Moniak to someday help their organization, the player drafted two picks after him in 2016 is already crucial to his contending team.
Moniak, of course, was selected first overall by the Phillies that June. The next pick was college hitter Nick Senzel to the Reds, followed by high school right-hander Ian Anderson to the Braves.
Atlanta is thrilled with how those first three picks turned out.
Anderson debuted in the majors this summer and helped stabilize the Braves’ rotation amid so many key injuries. Anderson did for the Braves this summer what Spencer Howard was unable to do for the Phillies.
Anderson started Game 2 of the Braves’ first-round playoff series against the Reds. He delivered six scoreless innings, allowed two hits and struck out nine to lead Atlanta to the NLDS.
Including that masterful outing Thursday, Anderson has a 1.64 ERA in seven starts in 2020. His opponents have hit .162. He has been even better as a rookie than Sixto Sanchez, who made his playoff debut for the Marlins Friday against the Cubs.
Those holding out hope of an ascent by Moniak cite his youth as a primary reason why to believe. Anderson is just 11 days older and is already affecting the National League playoff race.