Tyler Anderson’s Biggest Adjustment in 2024

Tyler Anderson

After signing a three-year $39 million contract in November of 2022, Tyler Anderson’s first impression with the Angels was disappointing. He was coming off an All-Star season in 2022 with the Dodgers with a 2.57 ERA but struggled mightily last year with the Halos, posting a 5.43 ERA. This year, Anderson is looking a lot like his 2022 self, with a 2.63 ERA in his first 13 starts.

The nearly three-run difference in ERA is stark, and it is because he is having less traffic on the bases. His 1.146 WHIP (Walks and Hits over Innings Pitched) this season is a massive upgrade from his 1.489 WHIP in 2023. Hitters hit .266 with a .801 OPS last year against Anderson, while hitters this season are only hitting .205 with a .660 OPS.

The biggest reason for the bounceback season? Better command with the fastball. The pictures below are Anderson’s pitch maps on fastballs in 2023 and 2024. You will notice the 2023 picture has far more red in the middle of the zone than the 2024 picture, which is more toward the top of the strike zone.

The fastball was Anderson’s worst pitch in 2023. Hitters hit .301 with a .566 slugging percentage against his fastball in 2023 and are just hitting .237 with a .465 slugging percentage this year. Because his fastball is staying out of the heart of the zone, Anderson’s line-drive percentage is down from 26.9% last year to 22.1% this year, according to Baseball Savant. His groundball percentage also rose from 31.0% last year to 37.3% this year.

Another change that Anderson has made this season is his pitch arsenal usage. Anderson is using his fastball and changeup more and his cutter less this year compared to 2023. According to Baseball Savant, his pitch usage in 2023 was 37.4% fastballs, 33.9% changeups, and 22.4% cutters, while this year it is 40.5% fastballs, 35.5% changeups, and 18.8% cutters.

More fastballs are being thrown in general by Anderson, but especially on the first pitch of the at-bat. According to Baseball Savant, Anderson’s first-pitch fastball percentage climbed from 41.7% in 2023 to 48.2% in 2024. With more first-pitch fastballs, Anderson’s first-pitch strike percentage also went up from 59.9% in 2023 to 62.0% this year. Needless to say, it is much better for a pitcher to be ahead 0-1 in the count than behind 1-0.

With the bounce-back season, Anderson’s 2.63 ERA is a full run lower than the next-closest Angels starting pitcher, José Soriano. Anderson appears to be on his way to his second All-Star Game as long as he keeps this up and may even thrust himself into trade rumors come July, with the Angels currently 15 games under .500.

Jack Janes

Journalism major at the University of La Verne. Played college baseball at Fullerton College and the University of La Verne. Also write for Inside The Rink.

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