ST. PETERSBURG — Rays fans saw in just the final stages of the season and the playoffs how impactful reliever Nick Anderson could be following his July 31 acquisition from the Marlins.
For his work over the full season, going 5-4, 3.32 in 68 games with 110 strikeouts and just 18 walks over 65 innings, Anderson this week was honored twice.
* Anderson was the only reliever, and one of 15 players overall, named to Baseball America’s All-rookie team.
That’s a significant honor, especially since his trade from the National League Marlins to the American League Rays will negate consideration in either league’s rookie of the year votes.
Here is what the BA editors had to say:
"A product of NAIA Mayville in North Dakota who pitched three seasons of independent ball, Anderson emerged as an unlikely relief ace this year with the Marlins and then the Rays after a midseason trade. The 28-year-old righthander struck out 41.7 percent of the batters he faced this season, second highest in the majors behind only Josh Hader among pitchers who threw at least 60 innings. He was at his best in the heat of the pennant race. After joining the Rays at the trade deadline, he struck out 41 of the 78 batters he faced.''
Anderson was the only Ray named to the team, as Milwaukee’s Keston Hiura got picked at second base over Brandon Lowe, who missed much of the second half due to injury. Tampa native Pete Alonso, who had a record-breaking season with the Mets, headlined the team.
* Anderson also was chosen winner of the Dick Siebert Award, presented by the Minnesota Twins after a vote by local members of the BBWAA, to the Upper Midwest Player of the Year. Anderson is a native of Crosby, Minn., and spends his off-seasons there. The award, named for the former University of Minnesota coach, was awarded previously to Rays pitcher Jeremy Hellickson, an Iowa native. Anderson will receive his award at a January banquet.