Miami Marlins third baseman Brian Anderson is one of the hitters MLB.com believes will have a breakout season in 2020?
The best thing about Brian Anderson‘s young career with the Miami Marlins is he is still a virtual unknown in many circles. While the third baseman/outfielder hit 20 home runs and had 66 RBI am an abbreviated season last year, most baseball fans couldn’t pick him out of a lineup.
For the organization, that’s a good thing as they can build around Anderson as one of your cornerstone players on a young and growing roster. Anderson’s moderate success has caught the eye of MLB.com, and he was selected as one of the breakout hitters in the Major Leagues for the 2020 season.
"“Although he may fly under the radar on a rebuilding Marlins club, Anderson has become an integral member of Miami’s core, and he’s only getting better at the plate. After a solid 2018 rookie season in which he hit .273/.357/.400 with 11 homers, Anderson improved his isolated power (ISO) by 80 points last year, when he slugged 20 home runs over 520 plate appearances,” writes Thomas Harrigan.“At the heart of his power surge was an increase in average launch angle from 8.7 degrees to 11.1, and a jump in hard-hit rate from 42.4% to 45.7%, which ranked 35th in MLB among qualified hitters.”"
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The Marlins have hoped Anderson would become a consistent hitter who grew into a power presence in the lineup. At 6’3″ and 185 pounds, there is a chance he could continue to add strength in his swing, which could mean he becomes a 30-home run hitter for his team.
Consider this as well. Anderson was not part of the reconstruction by the front office once the team was sold to Bruce Sherman and Derek Jeter. Taken in the third round of the 2014 MLB draft out of Arkansas, he is part of the old regime. He quickly rose through the franchise’s minor-league system. And made his debut on a full-time basis in 2017. Now he has fully entrenched himself as a leader and part of the future of the organization.
If he shows more ability to hit and raise his batting average, Anderson may receive some trade inquiries, especially if the Marlins do not make progress like is expected this coming season. With all of the changes the front office has made this off-season, and the way the team has looked during spring training, it’s hard to imagine that there wouldn’t be some modicum of success. We’re not talking a few wins, but rather a 10-15 game jump in the standings.
"“Anderson’s bat was especially potent after the 2019 All-Star break, when he raised his launch angle to 14.1 degrees and crushed nine homers with a .923 OPS in just 166 PAs,” Harrigan added. “Given the 26-year-old’s penchant for producing hard contact, continued elevation may be the key to unlocking his 30-homer potential in 2020.”"
The Marlins plan to bat him in front of Jonathan Villar, the team’s new centerfielder. The duo could lead a charge of new players in the lineup that could shatter the 146 home runs the team hit last season, which was last in the Majors.
Anderson was having his best season last year before a broken hand side light him for the final months. Had he been fully healthy, the expectation was he would have approached 25 home runs or more.
With those kinds of numbers, come greater expectations. And now that there are veteran heaters to surround him, he could do well at the top of the order knowing the team has a little more power behind him.
For those reasons, expect Anderson to be fully healthy and ready to take the next step in his MLB education in 2020.