Miami Marlins Legacy Series: Best Ever Third Basemen

Florida Marlins third baseman Miguel Cabrera celebrates a home run against the Arizona Diamondbacks August 13, 2006 in Phoenix. The Marlins won 6 - 5. (Photo by A. Messerschmidt/Getty Images)
Florida Marlins third baseman Miguel Cabrera celebrates a home run against the Arizona Diamondbacks August 13, 2006 in Phoenix. The Marlins won 6 - 5. (Photo by A. Messerschmidt/Getty Images) /
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9. Brian Anderson (163 appearances)

The Miami Marlins would-be current third baseman, Anderson has shown an ability to throw out runners from right field as well. No good deed goes unpunished.

Still though, Anderson has amassed 163 games at third base, just over a full seasons’ worth of data. The picture that data paints is clear – Anderson is only getting better.

Currently at 3.8 Wins Above Replacement, Anderson leads the 2019 Miami Marlins in the category. Born in Edmond, Oklahoma on May 19th, 1993, Anderson is under team control through the 2024 season. They lucked out by choosing him in the third round of the 2014 draft out of the University of Arkansas.

After hitting 11 homers last season along with a .273 average, Anderson finished fourth in the National League Rookie of the Year vote. He’s outdone himself on the offensive side of the plate in 2019, hitting 20 homers with about 40 games remaining in the season. His emergent power stroke has driven his slugging average from .400 last season to .470 this year.

Using the defensive runs saved per 1200-innings metric, we see that Anderson turned in a mark of minus-27 in a 200-inning look in 2017. In 2018, he was 15-runs below average in right field and 10-below at third in 2018.

This season, Anderson has played at least 446 innings at each of the two positions, and is seven-runs better than average at third while turning in a mark of plus-13 in right field. He also improved his fielding average at the hot corner by 35 points, from .942 to .977 between the two seasons.

I don’t think Anderson is done improving. The Miami Marlins need to build around someone, and I can think of few better choices than their two-position stud.

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