When the Miami Marlins went to Training Camp, there was some talk their rookie third baseman/outfielder Brian Anderson might not make the 25-man roster.
It’s a good thing the comments made about Brian Anderson not making the Opening Day roster were only whispers as the rookie has shown more than expected of him by the Miami Marlins organization so far this season.
Anderson, who moved through the minor league system at a quick yet steady pace, is a Rookie of the Year candidate and one of the nice surprises of an otherwise rocky 2018 campaign.
Manager Don Mattingly, President of Baseball Operations Michael Hill and the organization have to be thrilled at what they have seen so far. Best yet, Anderson is just getting started on what should be a solid MLB career.
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"“Brian Anderson showed the Marlins enough at the end of last season to jump onto their radar,” writes Richard Justice of MLB.com. “But they never expected he would be this good. His 109 hits before the All-Star break tied Rocco Baldelli for the second-most by an MLB rookie since 2003.”"
Anderson’s versatility this season – starting the season at the hot corner and moving to the outfield when Martin Prado returned – has been a real savior for this team. It has allowed Mattingly to keep a consistent bat in the lineup and has also let Prado, a veteran leader on the field and the clubhouse – help teach a young roster.
I think that’s a “win-win” for both organization and player.
Anderson and Washington’s Juan Soto may be the frontrunners for the National League’s top rookie. While I am biased because I have watched the youngster the past three seasons in the minors and in Miami, Soto may have the edge by national opinion.
The former 2014 third-round pick out of Arkansas is part of the “new wave” of young Marlins players and prospects owner Derek Jeter hopes will lead to a playoff berth in the next few years.
With Anderson, Lewis Brinson, Monte Harrison and Isan Diaz part of the change in the culture of this franchise, not to mention young pitchers in the minors and on the current Marlins roster, there is hope for optimism for the future.
For the season, Anderson has had better than expected numbers with a .285 batting average with nine home runs and 53 RBI – tied with J.T. Realmuto for second on the team. He has played in 114 games – the most of any Marlins player this season.
That kind of durability and dependability could lead to a long career in a Marlins uniform and a potential playoff berth down the line.