Down into the homestretch of the offseason, there’s now less than a week until live Spring Training game-action.
The Miami Marlins have 65 players in camp — 32 pitchers, seven catchers, nine infielders, 13 outfielders, Jon Berti, and Brian Anderson. Anderson is the focus of today’s preview, the fourth of a 40-part series focusing on the current 40-man roster.
Anderson is a six-foot-three, 185 lb., third baseman and right fielder now entering his third full major league season. Now 26-years-old, he led the Miami Marlins with a 3.8 bWAR in 2019, a year after he notched a 3.9 bWAR, ranking second on the team behind former-Marlins catcher J.T. Realmuto.
Edmond, OK native Anderson was drafted by the Marlins in the third round of the 2014 MLB Amateur Entry Draft out of the University of Arkansas. In three seasons for the Razorbacks, he hit .318/.418/.467 and mashed 13 potatoes with 98 RBI. He rose steadily through the Miami Marlins system, making his major league debut in late-2017.
Anderson’s offensive prowess has been trending upwards through his first two MLB seasons. In 2018, he slashed a .273/.357/.400 line with 11 homers and 65 RBI, putting up a team-second-best-tying 110 ERA+ and finishing fourth in the National League Rookie of the Year Award.
In 2019, Anderson missed the final month of the season, but still nearly doubled his initial home-run output. He racked up a .261/.342/.468 line with 20 home runs and 66 RBI, boosting his ERA+ to a team-best 114.
Offensively, Anderson is one of six legitimate 20-home run threats entering into 2020 for the Miami Marlins. Offense is only half of the story though.
Anderson is solid enough in the lineup at his natural position of third base. In 2019, he finished up the season with 16 DRS/1200 in 586 2/3 innings at the hot corner. He committed four errors in 177 total chances for a .977 fielding percentage, with a 2.58 RF/G. All of these metrics easily outstripped the NL average, but third base man not even be Anderson’s best position.
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In 457 2/3 innings as a right fielder, Anderson put up a substandard .972 fPCT with three errors committed, but also assisted on nine plays. Despite starting just over a third of Miami’s games in right field, he ranked third in the NL with those nine assists, and was 13 DRS/1200.
So not only is Anderson a bang-up hot corner, he also may be the best outfielder on the team. This guy may not be a future Hall-of-Famer, but an all-star nod may at some point be in the cards.
What do you think of Anderson? Let us know in the comments, and thanks for reading.