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2021 Marlins Season Preview: Brian Anderson

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Brian Anderson is ready for what could be his best season yet.

MLB: SEP 23 Marlins at Braves Photo by Jeff Robinson/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

3B Brian Anderson

Opening Day age: 27 | Bats: right | Throws: right | Listed at 6-3, 208 lbs.

Selected by Marlins in the 3rd round of the 2014 MLB amateur draft.


Here’s your beloved third baseman. Every season he’s played in since his MLB debut, back in 2017, has made us feel that something great is around the corner for Anderson, who will enter his 28-age season. And even though he hasn’t had a monster campaign yet, he’s been consistent when healthy.

Since 2018, his first full season, he leads the Marlins in games played (341), doubles (74), home runs (42), triples (6), runs batted in (169) and scored runs (171). Also, his .745 OPS is the highest among players with at least 700 plate appearances. Thanks to those numbers and a good performance at the hot corner, he’s put up 8.9 Wins Above Replacement in his last 341 games.

Anderson’s well-rounded skills put him in elite company:

However, his average exit velocity has gone down from 90.2 MPH in 2018 to 89.9 MPH in 2019 to 87.4 MPH in 2020. Plus, his K%, whiff%, and contact% have gotten worse over the years:

That new approach at the plate has somehow helped Anderson hit home runs at a higher rate. In fact, his HR% went up from 1.6% in 2018 to 3.9% in 2019 to 4.8 last year, when he smacked 11 out of the park in 59 games and 200 at-bats.

No matter what, Anderson has now put respectable stats in back-to-back seasons, showing his power, his on-base skills, and posting a .800-plus OPS in both 2019 and 2020.


What’s next?

2021 ZiPS projection: .254/.337/.446, 108 wRC+, 2.6 fWAR

2021 PECOTA projection (50th percentile): .255/.341/.438, 116 DRC+, 2.1 WARP

Courtesy of Miami Marlins

Basically, Anderson is the driver of Miami’s bus to success. The Marlins need him to have a healthy, productive season to lead the team. And he seems ready to do so, along with a better lineup that includes Jesús Aguilar, Corey Dickerson, Starling Marte, and Adam Duvall.

For the Fish, it’ll be important to continue to get Anderson to hit with runners in scoring position. He seemingly always came through in those spots in ‘20, posting a .395/.481/.814 slash line (5 HRs, 31 RBIs) with RISP across 52 plate appearances.

Three years away from being eligible to test free agency, Anderson will be motivated to show why he deserves to get paid even sooner in the form of a contract extension. The potential is there for a 30-homer season, considering Anderson’s pace last year and the changes to the outfield dimensions at Marlins Park that make it friendlier to hitters. It’s not crazy to expect BA to finish somewhere around that mark and total 80-85 runs batted in if he stays healthy all season long.

With an improved, more mature team around him and a strong support system, Anderson’s time to truly break out has come!

Poll

Over/Under 27.5 home runs for Brian Anderson in 2021?

This poll is closed

  • 42%
    Over
    (15 votes)
  • 57%
    Under
    (20 votes)
35 votes total Vote Now