The Marlins are looking to send Brian Anderson to Washington this July 17th for the MLB All-Star Game. While he is having quite the season for this Fish, is it enough to punch his ticket to D.C.?
Brian Anderson has been a bright spot for the Miami Marlins this season. The 25-year-old came into the year ranked as the fourth best prospect in the Marlins system by FanGraphs and eighth by MLB.com. The Marlins originally selected Anderson in the third round in the 2014 draft out of Arkansas for his ability to play multiple positions and untapped offensive potential they saw in him.
This year, Anderson has shown off his multi-positionality and his offensive progress. In 2018, Anderson has split time between third base and right field while slashing .299/. 377/.426 with a124 wRC+.
Offensively he profiles in the top half of performers at both third base and in right field. His 124 wRC+ is eighth out of all third basemen tied with Miguel Andujar and 12th out of all right fielders right behind Jorge Soler.
While wRC+ is not the end all-be all in determining if someone should attend the All-Star Game or not, it is a solid measurement of a player’s overall offensive performance. With a wRC+ of 124, Anderson is considered a hitter that is well above league average (100).
Although defensive stats are not always as reliable as offensive stats and are subject to small sample sizes skewing numbers, Anderson is seen as an above-average defender in right field. Third base, the position Anderson was brought up as has not been as kind to him by the metrics.
According to UZR, Anderson ranks 17th (min. 250 innings) out of all third basemen with a -0.5 UZR. In right field, it is a different story for Anderson. Keeping the innings minimum at 250, Anderson ranks 11th out of all right fielders with a 2.3 UZR.
The Case for a Miami Marlins Player in D.C.
Anderson’s biggest case for the All-Star game does not lie in one particular part of his game. Rather, it is the whole package that you get with Anderson. While WAR is not a perfect metric, it is the best catch-all stat that is available to the public. By looking at Anderson’s WAR, it is clear that he is a solid ballplayer.
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Being that three outfielders make the team via fan vote, and usually, about seven make the final roster. There is a route for Anderson to make the final roster, but it will not be an easy one. Let’s start off by saying that out of all NL outfielders, Anderson ranks sixth in WAR.
While WAR is not and should not be the deciding factor in telling who the best players are. It is a way to get the conversation going and Anderson being ranked sixth in WAR out of all NL outfielders has thrown his name into the conversation.
There is no way that Anderson makes the All-Star game via fan vote, he is not even in the top-15 out of all NL outfielders. We can’t reasonably expect any Miami Marlins to receive very many votes (see Realmuto, J.T.) With that being said, there is hope for Anderson when the All-Star Game managers go in and fill out their final rosters.
The best shot for Anderson to make the team is in the outfield. By doing quick math, each All-Star team last year had seven outfielders. Brian Anderson currently ranks sixth in WAR which will be our basic stat that tells us about a player’s performance.
So, you are saying there’s a chance?
As provided to us by the Denver Post, here are the most recent voting totals:
|1. Nick Markakis
|2. Bryce Harper
|3. Matt Kemp
|Los Angeles Dodgers
|4. Charlie Blackmon
|5. Ronald Acuna Jr.
|6. Ender Inciarte
|7. Jason Heyward
|8. Kyle Schwarber
|9. Ben Zobrist
|10. Christian Yelich
|11. Corey Dickerson
|12. Odubel Herrera
|13. Lorenzo Cain
|14. Andrew McCutchen
|San Francisco Giants
|15. Matt Adams
As you can see Nick Markakis is the top vote-getter so far. This should lead to him appearing in his first All-Star Game. The problem for Anderson lies in the 2-4 spots. Harper, Kemp and Blackmon don’t rate as productive as Anderson in the WAR metric. Regardless, they’ll all likely make the team. Credit to Kemp on getting his career back on track, this will be a much deserved ASG appearance.
That ties up the first four spots with only three remaining. While their fan votes aren’t all too impressive, Lorenzo Cain and Brandon Nimmo should lay claim to two of those spots due to the elite seasons they are having.
This would leave approximately one open outfield spots with a multitude of outfielders gunning for it. Listed in order of probability Odubel Herrera, Christian Yelich, Tommy Pham, Marcell Ozuna, Kyle Schwarber, Brian Anderson and others will be after the last spot.
While Anderson’s odds for making the roster are not great, his consistent play so far in 2018 has thrust him into the conversation. Figuring out an All-Star Game roster is far from an exact science. There are so many great players and just not enough room for all of them on the teams.
As of now, the Miami Marlins’ one lock for the All-Star Game, barring injury is J.T. Realmuto. After that, Anderson has the best chance. His chance to go to D.C. this July 17th is alive and well. A big final month leading up, a slew of injuries or just someone who likes his game enough to add him can very well land Anderson a spot on the roster.
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