Let the debate begin. Can Miami Marlins third baseman Brian Anderson become the team’s best player to ever play the position?
He may not be there yet, but is it possible Miami Marlins third baseman Brian Anderson has a chance to become the team’s best player at the position of all time?
I asked the question because of a non-scientific poll taken by MLB.com writer Joe Frisaro, who asked fans to weigh in on who they thought was the best of all time. While Miguel Cabrera was the runaway winner on Twitter, the Marlins have been blessed with talent over the years at the hot corner. Anderson, who is in his third full season with the parent club, has become a cornerstone piece to a puzzle that is nearly complete.
Now that it appears the 26-year-old will once again become a permanent fixture at third base this coming season, he has a chance to improve on numbers from 2019 that suggest he is a rising star the MLB landscape should be fully aware of.
On his list of contenders, Anderson is third behind Mike Lowell and Cabrera. There is plenty of debate to be had over whether Lowell was better than Cabrera in their time down in South Florida.
"“Placing Anderson third is based partly on what’s he’s already accomplished and how he projects moving forward. A year away from being arbitration-eligible, Anderson hit 20 home runs and drove in 66 runs in 126 games last year,” Frisaro wrote.“He missed the final five weeks due to a broken bone in his left hand after being hit by a pitch. Anderson was red-hot at the time of the injury. In the second half, he hit .284/.355/.568 with nine home runs and 28 RBIs in 39 games. In 87 games in the first half, he hit .251 with 11 homers and 38 RBIs.”"
It’s that kind of surge the Marlins front office hopes will continue this coming season. With the new additions to the Marlins roster and the chance the season will be shortened by the COVID-19 threat, Anderson needs to have a solid start to the season. His bat in the second spot in the order will come in handy, protecting centerfielder Jonathan Villar, who could make some noise with his power as a switch hitter.
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Anderson has become one of few Marlins players who survived the purge of the roster made by Derek Jeter when he took over as CEO of the organization. It’s possible he and shortstop Miguel Rojas will be the only two every-day starters to play on Opening Day who were part of the team prior to the Jeter/Bruce Sherman ownership group.
Lowell was Frisaro’s pick because of how he helped make the team a contender. He was also part of the 2003 World Series team.
"“In his seven-year tenure with the Marlins, Lowell was a three-time All-Star as well as a Silver Slugger Award winner in 2003 and a Gold Glove Award winner in ’05,” Frisaro wrote. “On the ’03 World Series title team, Lowell belted 32 home runs and drove in 105 runs in 130 games. He missed the final month of the regular season because he broke a bone in his left hand after being struck by a pitch.”"