The Miami Marlins finally selected their first college player in the 2014 MLB Draft, opting for second baseman Brian Anderson out of the University of Arkansas. Anderson was at least considered once before, as he was taken in the 20th round in 2011 by the Minnesota Twins but opted to work on his game in Arkansas instead. It obviously worked, as he is now the Marlins' third-round selection.
Anderson worked three seasons for the Razorbacks, and he got better as his career went along. The second baseman worked up from a limited freshman season to a year in which he hit .325/.448/.488 in his sophomore season. He kept those numbers very similar in his junior year before declaring for the draft and helped the Razorbacks to a current 40-25 record.
Anderson has some room to grow for a player coming out of college. His power tool could be more than useful at some point, and he grades out defensively well enough to stay at second base. He carries a strong arm from back in his pitching days, and that may push him to either third base or the outfield in the future. Miami opted for upside in its first three picks, but there is enough power upside in Anderson, along with decent up-the-middle defensive capability, that the Fish also can look to the future here and still get some polish from a college player. It seems like a great selection for what is shaping up to be an interesting draft for Miami.
Stay tuned to Fish Stripes for more details on the next few picks as they come in.