If you stand 6-5 and throw 90 mph there’s a chance you might have a future in baseball.
Those attributes led to Brainerd High School graduate Nick Anderson being drafted in the 32nd round of Major League Baseball’s First-Year Player Draft by the Milwaukee Brewers June 6.
Anderson, who signed Monday, will be assigned to Rockford, Ill of the Frontier League.
“It’s something I’ve been looking forward to, and was hoping to have the possibility to experience,” Anderson said. “It just kind of gives me the opportunity to make a living out of it, to play the sport I love and get paid to do it and have the possibility to make big things out of it.”
Following three seasons at St. Cloud State University, Anderson transferred to Mayville State University this spring and went 5-2 with a 1.95 ERA. He led the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics in fewest runs allowed, giving up 13 all season. He also struck out 70, walked nine and allowed 45 hits in 60 innings pitched.
Pete Pratt was Anderson’s pitching coach at SCSU and this season at Mayville.
“Nick had a tremendous season for us, giving us a chance to win every time out, which is a great feeling as a pitching coach,” Pratt said. “Being familiar with Nick, from having coached him at St Cloud State as well, we knew he had an electric arm that could poise himself for a shot at being drafted.
“I would not be surprised that in a few years people will be watching a Milwaukee game on television and say ‘Wow, I used to play with that kid.’ The sky is the limit for Nick if he continues to mature and keep up the hard work ethic he has and keeps things in check personally with his humble-pie attitude.”
Anderson said it was great opportunity to finish his college career at Mayville.
“Obviously, I know Pete Pratt from SCSU because he coached there,” Anderson said. “It was great to reunite with him. He has the best interest for all of his players. He looks out for every player on the team, and tries to help out as much as he can. It was good to be there. There’s a good coaching staff and lots of support there.”
Anderson, who pitched for the Brainerd Lakes Area Lunkers in 2010 and helped the Sauk Rapids Cyclones to the Class B amateur state championship last summer, thought there was a possibility he would be drafted.
“Throughout the spring and school year I was throwing pretty well,” he said. “My speed and velocity were up there too so it was looking good. Throughout that period I talked to some (major league) teams. It was looking pretty good, but it was still up in the air. You never know when it comes to draft time.”
The 195-pound right-hander said he hit as high as 94 mph on the radar gun this spring. He said he often throws harder as a game goes on.
“Consistently, I was 89-93 probably,” Anderson said. “I usually progress as the game goes on. I start off a little slower, 89, 91, and in the middle of a game I bump it up. I just think the middle of a game, 50, 60 pitches in, I just feel a lot better. It comes with throwing. I tend to loosen up I guess.”
Anderson will report Thursday to Rockford.