Brian Anderson, the Miami Marlins third baseman, continues to thrive while playing at home and against the Philadelphia Phillies this season.
If you have read my colleague Kevin Kraczkowski’s story here on Marlin Maniac, you know he is in favor of Miguel Rojas representing the Marlins in the All-Star Game. He isn’t the only one who has spoken favorably about the Rojas, who continues to play hard every game and has become a leader on the field and in the clubhouse.
Manager Don Mattingly has also been vocal about how he feels about his shortstop and the honor it would be to play amongst the best in Major League Baseball on July 9 in Cleveland.
It’s possible Rojas gets the nod, but a case could be made for other players on this roster taking the lone spot in the Midsummer Classic as the Marlins representative.
“I think Miggy best represents our club,” Mattingly said. “He’s a guy who plays every day, battles every day. He can play all over the field. He really knows how to play.”
I’m going to go in a different direction here and put my two cents in for third baseman Brian Anderson getting the call. The team’s leader in home runs is starting to become more of a factor at the plate, having hit his 11th home run of the season on Friday night in the 6-2 win over Philadelphia.
Anderson, who is one of the team’s cornerstone players, hit 11 home runs all last season. And against the Phillies, he has had some of his best success as a professional. This season he is hitting .348 (16-for-46) against with four home runs and eight RBIs in 11 games. Not too shabby for a player who is batting .251 this season and has looked good at times and struggled at others. He is getting hot at the right time, just before teams take a break to enjoy the all-star festivities in 10 days.
“I think everybody knows that this is a tough park,” Anderson said after the win on Friday night. “So you’ve got to stay within yourself, and try to barrel the ball the best you can, and try to aim for the gaps. I was able to kind of sneak one out to right today. Not really changing anything. Just trying to stay with the process, and try to get as many barrels as I can.”
Anderson has shown steady progress at every level of the Marlins organization since being drafted in the third round out of Arkansas in 2014. He played in the Futures Game in 2016 and was the team’s Minor League Player of the Year. He made his MLB debut in 2017 and hasn’t moved from the parent club since.
Now, he is coming into his own, showing that he can become an offensive catalyst. As Joe Frisaro of MLB.com wrote, “In his second full season, Anderson has enjoyed more success on the road than at home. His splits, entering the night, were .230/.331/.322 with three homers and 13 RBIs at home, compared to a slash line of .266/.331/.490 on the road with eight homers and 24 RBIs.”
If home is where the heart is, Anderson should continue to progress as a hitter and in the infield. And as his numbers continue to improve, the Marlins chances of winning more games than in 2018 moves along as well.