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Minnesota native Nick Anderson now the hottest reliever in the MLB

He's gone from an unknown to unhittable in quick fashion.
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Nick Anderson

Everyone knows someone named Nick Anderson, but only one Nick Anderson is the hottest reliever on the planet right now. 

That Nick Anderson pitches for the Tampa Bay Rays, and hails from the great City of Crosby in central Minnesota. 

Anderson, a rookie, was traded to the Rays from the Marlins before the MLB's July 31 trade deadline, and ever since donning a Rays uniform he has completely dominated opposing batters. 

Of the 26 batters he's faced, Anderson has allowed just three hits and struck out 17. As MLB.com's Mike Petriello said, "Good holy lord." 

The batter-by-batter result against Anderson is especially amazing to look at: 

  1. Double (Andrew Benintendi, Red Sox)
  2. Flyout (Shane Travis, Red Sox)
  3. Strikeout (Mitch Moreland, Red Sox)
  4. Strikeout (Michael Chavis, Red Sox)
  5. Strikeout (Starlin Castro, Marlins)
  6. Strikeout (Harold Ramirez, Marlins)
  7. Groundout (Jorge Alfaro, Marlins)
  8. Popout (Vladimir Guerrero Jr., Blue Jays)
  9. Strikeout (Freddy Galvis, Blue Jays)
  10. Strikeout (Randal Grichuk, Blue Jays)
  11. Strikeout (Mallex Smith, Mariners)
  12. Strikeout (J.P. Crawford, Mariners)
  13. Groundout (Domingo Santana, Mariners)
  14. Strikeout (Daniel Vogelbach, Mariners)
  15. Strikeout (Kyle Seager, Mariners)
  16. Strikeout (Tim Nola, Mariners)
  17. Strikeout (Greg Garcia, Padres)
  18. Strikeout (Fernando Tatis Jr., Padres)
  19. Strikeout (Will Myers, Padres)
  20. Strikeout (Travis Demeritte, Tigers)
  21. Strikeout (Jake Rogers, Tigers)
  22. Strikeout (Jody Mercer, Tigers)
  23. Flyout (Tim Nola, Mariners)
  24. Single (Kyle Seager, Mariners)
  25. Single (Tom Murphy, Mariners)
  26. Strikeout (Daniel Vogelbach, Mariners)

So the only guys to get a hit off Anderson are Red Sox stud Andrew Benintendi, Kyle Seager of the Mariners, who is among the hottest hitters in the majors over the last two weeks, and Mariners catcher Tom Murphy, who got his hit against Anderson during the best game of his life when he homered twice prior to facing the Crosby native. 

Here's the part of the story where Twins fans will cringe. 

Anderson, who played college ball at St. Cloud State, signed with the Twins as an undrafted free agent in 2015, but was traded by Minnesota to the Marlins last November for minor-league third baseman, Brian Schales, who is hitting .189/.301/.378 this season. 

Oops. 

How nice would it be to have Anderson in the Twins' bullpen this year? The former Brainerd High School star struck out 88 batters in 60 innings at Triple-A Rochester last year, but still, the Twins let him go in what MLB.com says was a "roster crunch." 

That's basically giving away a guy who averaged more than 13 strikeouts per nine innings. 

“I was pretty jacked up towards the end of the season because I kind of figured you know I'd get called up, but for it not to happen, I guess it did put a chip on my shoulder?" said Anderson in a recent interview with KSTP's Darren Wolfson. 

"But ultimately no matter what team I was with, whatever happened with the Rule 5 deadline, I knew I was going to have to be the same guy going into the following year. So I can let the Twins feel how they want to feel about it but to me everything happens for a reason."

You can read Petriello's full breakdown of what's made Anderson so amazing right here, and you really should because it's fascinating. 

Troubled past

There's another angle to Anderson's rise to baseball elite, and it's detailed wonderfully in a spring story from the Miami Herald, which notes that Anderson was charged with drunk driving in 2010 and later wound up in jail for eight days on an assault charge for hitting someone with a baseball bat. 

He turned his life around after attending Alcoholic's Anonymous and anger management courses, the Miami Herald reported. Now he's 28 years old and quickly becoming one of the most feared right-handed relievers in the big leagues.  

Maybe there's something in Minnesota's water, but one of the best left-handed relievers in the majors also hails from Minnesota: Chaska native Brad Hand, who is an All-Star closer for the Cleveland Indians. 

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