SAN FRANCISCO -- Social media has added a cool twist to big league debuts. When a top prospect comes up for the first time, the congratulatory messages from former college and minor league teammates are no longer fully private.
If you took a spin around Twitter or Instagram last Wednesday, you saw a vast collection of Giants minor leaguers and former Florida Gators shouting out Shaun Anderson, who had a solid debut against the Toronto Blue Jays.
There was one surprising shoutout, though. San Diego Padres first baseman Eric Hosmer posted on Instagram that he was watching Anderson's debut. It turns out the 29-year-old Hosmer and 24-year-old Anderson are workout partners in the offseason at BioCore Sports Performance in Davie, Florida.
"I guess he was watching, which was pretty cool," Anderson said on this week's Giants Insider Podcast. "He texted me after and we talked about if for a little bit."
Anderson had a lot of well-known (in the baseball world) players watching. He was part of a loaded roster at Florida that had eight players drafted in the first 10 rounds of the 2016 MLB Draft. Anderson went to the Red Sox in the third round. Top pitching prospects A.J. Puk (A's) and Dane Dunning (White Sox) were part of that class, along with budding Mets star Pete Alonso.
Hell yeah!!!!!! Congrats Shaun and best of luck. You deserve it man. One of the hardest workers i know. U the man!!! @ShaunAnderson37 https://t.co/IqUIp8dX1R— Pete Alonso (@Pete_Alonso20) May 15, 2019
Anderson said he still keeps in touch with most of his Florida crew and is looking forward to the rest making it to the big leagues. Alonso is the most successful thus far, and if Anderson sticks in the rotation through the next road trip, he could face his former teammate in New York early next month.
"I faced him a lot throughout college and in intrasquads and then last year (in the minors). I kind of have a good gameplan on him," Anderson said, smiling. "I can't tell anybody yet. He's been swinging the bat (well), so I'm kind of looking forward to that matchup."
For more on Anderson, including his thoughts on his debut, a breakdown of his fastball variations, and the knowledge he's trying to soak up from Madison Bumgarner, you can stream the Giants Insider Podcast here or download it on iTunes here.