After a 2018 campaign where he finished fourth in the Rookie of the Year balloting, Miami Marlins third baseman Brian Anderson must show more improvement in 2019.
Injuries ate up a huge chunk of Prado’s season at third base, allowing Anderson, who started his rookie campaign as a leading candidate to win the NL Rookie of the Year Award, to play the hot corner on Opening Day and spent time in right field as well.
I do not think where the Marlins put Anderson on the field is as important as having his bat in the lineup and seeing improvement in his swing and power in the second stanza of his career. He may not become a 30-home run hitter, but he does have a chance to be a cornerstone piece to this organization’s future.
Should the Marlins move him to the outfield, a trio of Anderson in right field, Lewis Brinson in center and Monte Harrison in left for the 2020 season may be one of the best young combinations in all of MLB.
More from Marlins News
- Miami Marlins news: Another target gone
- Why didn’t the Miami Marlins sign JDM?
- Miami Marlins rejected Boston‘s trade offer
- Miami Marlins are pursuing Michael Conforto
- Miami Marlins need to spend to win
Prado will play the final year of his contract in 2019 which will pay him $15 million. In 2020 he is eligible for free agency. He’s a leader on the field and in the clubhouse, but the price may be too high to keep him around much longer. Prado, along with second baseman Starlin Castro and pitcher Wei-Yin Chen will cost Miami $46 million in salary alone. The Marlins project their salary to be around $100 million for 2019.
Again, everything that has to do with Anderson’s spot on the diamond has to do with what happens around him.
"“A significant part of the franchise’s core, Anderson is generally considered the long-term third-base option. But that could change, depending on the moves Miami makes during the Hot Stove season,” Joe Frisro of MLB.com writes.“The Marlins are in the market for corner outfielders and a first baseman. If an established outfielder is brought in, Anderson likely will be at third base. If not, the 25-year-old may wind up in right field. He played both in his 2018 rookie season.”"
For the season, the former third-round draft pick out of Arkansas in 2014 hit .273 with 11 home runs and 65 RBI. His start was much better than his finish. The youngster must find a balance at the plate while hitting anywhere between second and sixth in the batting order.
It is believed the Marlins could use Anderson at both positions next season, much like 2018. Manager Don Mattingly has alluded to this, knowing he played 71 games at third base and 91 games in the outfield. He proved dependable for someone just getting their feet wet on the Major League level.
"“You don’t know what’s going to happen with your club and how you try to put it together next year or the year after,” Mattingly said during the Marlins’ final series at the Mets. “I think the one thing good is we’ve seen him able to do both.”"