Can Miami Marlins third baseman Brian Anderson win the National League MVP in a shortened MLB season?
It might be a little bit harder to predict who might come out of the National League with the Most Valuable Player award, but if the playing field is level, then why wouldn’t Miami Marlins third baseman Brian Anderson be a strong candidate?
"As Don Mattingly, the skipper of the Marlins said on Wednesday, “The biggest thing we’ll be trying to do is make sure that we get in physical shape, safely,”"
If that is the case then every Marlins player who makes the 30-man roster is a key cog in the success of this franchise. None may be more vital than Anderson, who must build on his success in 2019 before a broken hand ending his campaign five weeks early.
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Anderson, who was the team’s third-round pick out of Arkansas in 2014, must prove he can find success not only at the plate but back at third base where he will start the season this year. For the past two years, he has spent time at the hot corner and in right field, filling in for players who had been injured or who had lacked productivity. The idea of him playing one position should benefit his success.
And because he is one of the longest-tenured players on the Miami Marlins roster, yes it is true, he may be asked to take on a more prominent role as one of the team leaders in the dugout and in the clubhouse.
In 2019, Anderson hit 20 home runs in 66 RBI in an abbreviated season. If this were a full season of 162 games, he would be expected to reach somewhere between 25 and 30 home runs on the year. Now the focus shifts to him becoming more of a contact hitter where he raises his average and makes the players around him better.
The Miami Marlins brought in Jonathan Villar, who will either play second base or will start the season in centerfield. He could also see time as the designated hitter. Miami also signed Corey Dickerson. He will be counted on to play in left field. All of the shuffling should make the Marlins a better team then the .241 average they collectively hit in 2019.
But it starts and stops with how Anderson performs.
And if this was considered a regular season, Anderson may not get the recognition as a potential MVP candidate. Things have a way of happening. Stranger situations have evolved. While the rest of the MLB landscape may not know how good he is, many inside the National League East are well aware of the star in the making.
Given that he has 60 games to leave his mark on the rest of the league, the only thing stopping Anderson from becoming a true developing star is if he and the Miami Marlins can’t get off to a fast start which will help him continue to build the MVP campaign.