After a broken bone in his hand sidelined him for the final month of the 2019 season, Miami Marlins third baseman Brian Anderson is back swinging a bat in Spring Training.
To some, it might not be that big of a deal, but Marlins third baseman Brian Anderson is back swinging a bat. The third-year player had his 2019 season halted when he was hit by a pitch on his hand, fracturing a bone and ending what was the best year of his short career.
Despite adding power hitters and speed to the lineup, Anderson is still being asked to be a leader at the plate, a player the Marlins can build around for this coming season and the future.
"“I’m just excited to be out here, and be on the field again,” Anderson said via MLB.com. “… For me, it’s not even something that I have to do,” Anderson said. “It’s for my peace of mind.”"
Anderson will wear a handguard to help protect his arm. “Andy” figures to be back at third base this season with the decision to move Jonathan Villar to centerfield – at least for the start of the season. Miami has a more potent lineup in place, even if the team has not begun it’s 2020 regular season just yet.
Anderson could be a 25-30 home run hitter this season if he can continue to work on his time at the plate and stay healthy in 2019.
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"“The Marlins consider Anderson their third baseman of the future, which is why they intend for him to play mostly the hot corner, rather than have him also split time in right field,” Joe Frisaro writes. “Anderson is also one of the main core young players on a roster that infused more veterans in the offseason, like Jonathan Villar, Corey Dickerson and Jesús Aguilar.”"
Anderson is a carryover from the old ownership group. There are a few left from the pre-2018 team. His steadiness at the plate and his defense have been a foundation of the team. Now, in his third full season in Miami, it may be time for him to take on more of a leadership role. With Villar, Dickerson and Aguilar potentially hitting around him, opposing pitchers may have a hard time getting all four batters out on a consistent basis.
"“At the end of 2019, Anderson was making big strides. But on Aug. 23, he was pegged by a 93.9 mph fastball from Phillies right-hander Vince Velasquez. The pitch fractured his fifth metacarpal, ending his season,” Frisaro added."
The former University of Arkansas star, Anderson was a third-round pick in 2014 and was shirt-tracked through the minors, making his debut at the end of the 2017 season. He took over for veteran Martin Prado at third base and has become a fixture in South Florida ever since.
"“I think his confidence was growing,” Marlins skipper Don Mattingly said. “The second half, just more success, as the season got going. For me, I was seeing confidence. A guy that is more settled.”"