During his time at Evanston Township High School, Jack Anderson made a name for himself on the mound for the Wildkits.
Not only was he a two-time letter winner and a two-time Central Suburban League All-Conference selection, Jack was named team MVP in both his junior and senior seasons at ETHS in 2011 and 2012. Jack also posted a 1.60 earned average run with eight saves and 8.2 strikeouts per seven innings during his four years with the Kits.
What made Jack most impressive, said ETHS baseball Coach Frank Consiglio, was that the ETHS coaching staff were not sure what they were going to get when he first arrived. “His whole story is kind of that underdog story. I think that is what makes him so great. I did not know what he was [going to be when he entered the program because] he did not have a ton of experience and then all of a sudden, as a varsity athlete, he was just flat unhittable,” Coach Consiglio said. “I mean he was a stud. I think what impressed me the most was his being able to control the moment. I talk about it all the time with kids being able to control the moment, slow the game down and he always did that really well. He progressed into a lights out closer at Evanston.”
Once his high school career came to a close, Jack was able to continue being “lights out” on the mound while pitching at Penn State. During his four-year college career, he set the school record for saves with 25 and made a school record 98 appearances while never allowing a home run in over 165 innings pitched. In his senior season in 2016, Jack earned 13 saves in 29 appearances while posting a career-best 2.14 ERA.
That performance caught the eye of the scouts with the Seattle Mariners organization, as they selected Anderson with the 687th pick in the 23rd round of the Major League Baseball Draft in June.
“It is great,” said Coach Consiglio regarding the 6-foot, 3-inch right-hander, who uses a submarine style pitching delivery. “I think [while at ETHS and] even at Penn State, nothing was ever handed to him. It is just one of those things where because nothing was ever handed to him, he just worked his butt off, and I think that is what makes him special.”
What also makes Jack Anderson special, said Coach Consiglio, is the fact that he seems to play with an edge each and every time he steps on the mound. “I think he has got a little edge to him. You develop an edge; you are not born with an edge. I think his edge comes from not always being put out there and getting everything easy,” Coach Consiglio said. “I think he has developed this edge where he is in ‘prove it’ mode all the time and when you are in ‘prove-it’ mode all the time, you develop this edge and you could see that when he pitched at the high school level and you could obviously see it when he pitched at the college level. He just has this edge to him that not many guys have.”
Shortly after being drafted, Jack reported to the Mariners’ Class-A Short Season affiliate in Everett, Wash., where he made one appearance. But since the Everett team already had plenty of pitchers on the roster, he was moved to Peoria, Ariz., and began pitching for the Mariners’ rookie-league team. So far, in eight appearances with the AZL Mariners, Jack has earned two victories and three saves in 7.2 innings of work.
It seems like Jack remains in prove-it mode as he enters the next chapter of his playing career.