If this was professional football, we may be talking about Miami Marlins outfielder Brian Anderson hitting the proverbial “wall” rookies hit at some point in their first season in the NFL.
Miami Marlins manager Don Mattingly isn’t worried about the recent hitting woes of his star rookie, Brian Anderson. He knows the outfielder will continue to push through and work on his swing while hitting second in the team’s batting order.
That’s what good ballplayers do. Anderson, who has surpassed the expectations from the front office in his first full season on the Major League level, is still a valuable part of the team’s success this season, no matter how small it has been.
"As Wells Dusenbury of sun-sentinel.com wrote, “While the 25-year-old, who’s hitting .283 on the year, has been one of the team’s most productive players, Anderson has gone through a tough August. Through the first eight games of the month, the outfielder is hitting .233 and has gone 2 for 15 in his past four games.”"
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Even with the slow numbers at the start of the month, Mattingly and the team are encouraging Anderson to continue what he’s been doing.
Team owner Derek Jeter has praised Anderson from the start of the season and believes the former Arkansas Razorbacks star should be considered for the National League Rookie of the Year. Jeter knows what it’s like to win such as honor.
"“[Anderson] should be at the top of the [Rookie of the Year] list,” Jeter said on Wednesday. “It’s the bottom line. What he’s been able to do from Day 1 in this organization and the consistency he’s shown. You have to realize he’s a third baseman and he’s playing right field. That’s not easy to do.”"
Now that pitchers have seen Anderson more than once this season, they are throwing different pitches at him, they also are making him work harder with each at-bat. The Marlins are continuing to make changes in their lineup and 25-man roster. Anderson remains a constant each game played.
Mattingly said a conversation the two had in 2017 during Spring Training in Jupiter, Florida has played a role in Anderson’s maturity and development.
"“He talked about approach and what he was trying to do and that tells me he’s on the right track to making adjustments and what he wants to do,” Mattingly said. “He has a swing that kind of works all over the field.”"
The Marlins got the win on Saturday night over the New York Mets. Anderson was once again in the lineup. As he continues to show he can play through his struggles, it also means he is getting more experience at the Major League level.