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Brian Anderson reaches full potential after big position change

Anderson has learned to play right field on the fly and thrived in the batter’s box.

MLB: San Diego Padres at Miami Marlins Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports

A majority of Marlins players have experienced relatively tumultuous seasons. Brian Anderson, on the other hand, has undergone an incredibly successful 2018 MLB campaign. The 25-year-old has been vying for an All-Star spot, posting All-Star like numbers in a Marlins’ uniform.

Entering Monday, the Marlins right fielder has an utterly impressive statistical slash line of .303/.377/.422 for an OPS of .799, participating in 60 major league games and receiving 244 plate appearances.

Anderson wasn’t producing monster-like numbers offensively until Don Mattingly displaced him from his usual third base position. Originally, the motivation was to create playing time for Martín Prado as the veteran returned from a knee injury.

Prado is on the disabled list again, but there’s no urgency to move Anderson back. He owns a .825 OPS when playing right field compared to a more pedestrian .769 OPS at the hot corner. Even better, the rookie has rapidly adjusted to the new defensive assignment, racking up four assists in his first 36 outfield starts.

Fish Stripes original GIF

Of Anderson’s 74 total hits, 16 are doubles, 2 are triples, and 3 are homers (combined 21 extra-base hits). In addition, Brian Anderson leads the Marlins with 30 RBIs and a respectable 54:24 strikeout-to-walk ratio.

The former 2014 MLB draft selection—No. 76 overall—has experienced great success lately, registering a slash line of .342/.389/.470 in the past 30 contests. Focusing on just the 7 most recent games, he is even more dominant (.429/.484/.643).

While Anderson lags behind players from big-market teams in the early All-Star fan balloting, he makes a convincing case to be selected as a reserve on the roster. Continuing to perform extremely well—especially at the plate—should earn BA more recognition across the league...even if it’s at a position nobody could’ve expected.