Home News Rangers rookie Grant Anderson enjoying pro rise with twin brother

Rangers rookie Grant Anderson enjoying pro rise with twin brother

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Rangers reliever Grant Anderson was born 45 seconds after his twin brother Aidan, who pitches in the Minors for Texas, and the first to put his name in the history books.

Grant struck out the first four Tigers batters he faced in his Major League debut on May 30, becoming the sixth pitcher in Major League history to accomplish the feat. In all, he struck out seven hitters, cementing his family’s status as baseball legends in Port Arthur, Texas.

“It was a lot of fun,” Grant Anderson, 26, said. “I was not expecting [Rangers manager Bruce Bochy] to put me in a tight situation to start off, but that is why I like playing the game. Catcher Jonah Heim called a great game for me, so I just tried to hit my spots and keep my nerves calm.”

Anderson is currently the club’s setup man and has a 3.06 ERA and 18 strikeouts in 17 2/3 innings. He’s easy to recognize as he features a high leg kick inspired by Dontrelle Willis, and a distinct release points patterned after Sergio Romo and Steve Cishek.

He’s also trying to set himself apart on the mound.

In his first full Minor League season in 2019, Anderson finished with a 7-4 record and a 3.22 ERA. COVID wiped out his ’20 season, and he had some uneven performances in ’21. Anderson went 5-0 with a 3.48 ERA and 91 strikeouts in 67 1/3 innings in Double-A and Triple-A combined last season, and he finished with a 0.47 ERA in 19 innings in the Puerto Rican Winter League last offseason.

Grant credits hard work, his brother, Aidan, and their father, Rod Anderson, for his success. Growing up, the Andersons spent their mornings hitting black-eyed peas with broomsticks. They threw baseballs through a tire swing and took hacks in their batting cage into the late afternoon each day.

“We learned early that not only were we competing with locals, we were competing for jobs with the entire world,” Aidan said. “It was fun, you do not think about it while you are that young.  I am sure we complained a few times, but we loved it.”

The twins began playing organized baseball at the age of 10 and became a dominant battery in the Port Arthur area, sometimes swapping roles in the same game. Later, Grant was the primary catcher for West Orange-Stark High School in West Orange, Texas, while Aidan starred on the mound. Both earned athletic scholarships to McNeese State in Lake Charles, La.

Grant moved to the bullpen almost immediately while in college, but got off to a rough start when he posted an ERA above 13 during his freshman season at McNeese State. He began throwing sidearm the next year — in part because he was inspired by former McNeese teammate and current Mariners Minor Leaguer Colin Cooper — and finished 8-0 with a 2.30 ERA and 56 strikeouts.

“When I began seeing them play against SEC and ACC schools, I knew they would have a chance to be successful,” Rod Anderson said.  “We would always go watch the local Minor League team in the area and knew both boys could compete with them.”

Grant posted a 3.86 ERA in 2018 for McNeese State and was drafted by the Mariners in the 21st round. Aidan spent one more year at school and signed with the Phillies as an undrafted free agent in June 2019.

Then came the reunion in Texas.

Grant was traded to the Rangers in 2019 in exchange for right-handed pitcher Connor Sadzeck. Aidan signed with Texas days after being released by Philadelphia in January.

“It was great growing up with a best friend,” Grant said.  “We talk baseball all the time. If he sees something I am not doing right or the other way around, we talk about it and it helps the adjustments go a lot quicker.”

Aidan, who currently pitches for the Frisco RoughRiders, began the season with Class A Hickory before being promoted to Triple-A on May 27. Grant was promoted to the big leagues the same day. Three days later, Aidan and other members of the family flew to Detroit to witness one of the greatest debuts in the game’s history.

 “It was a special moment for our family,” said Aidan.  “Everyone goes through the grind, but it is different when it is your brother.”

Malik Wright is a Senior Content Reporter for MLBbro.com and contributes to MLB.com.

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