Sunday, January 18

Lars Anderson: So Who is This Guy?

Many of us have read a lot about some guy named Lars Anderson this offseason. From expectations to be the next Mark Teixeira to admissions he is still just a young prospect, there are varying degrees of excitement for this guy. The issue is, not many of us have actually seen him play or have even heard him speak. He is perhaps the biggest jewel in a Red Sox farm system chalk full of talented prospects.

Personally, given the right situation, I'm usually in favor of taking the proven player over prospects. However, after doing some additional research on Anderson, this is one guy I may deem untouchable...too many memories of the Jeff Bagwell come to mind. Here is a summary of some of the information I've dug up over the last few days:

ITM Spotlight: Lars Anderson
Born: Sept. 25th, 1987, Oakland California
Height: 6'4"
Weight: 210lbs
Bats: Left
Throws: Left
Drafted: 18th round, 2006

Attitude:
Anderson is a California surfer guy through and through. At such a young age and with so much pressure on his shoulders, he retains the "i'm just having fun attitude". He understands he has the skills to be special and according to his coaches, puts in extra work to make sure he reaches his really high potential. Work ethic is certainly not an issue here.

Hitting:
According to Soxprospects.com, he has a great hitter's fram with an "elite power ceiling"...I love typing the phrase. The Red Sox have had many good prospects come up through their system lately, but none have had the same level of power of Anderson. Many fear an upcoming lack of lineup power over the next few years for the Red Sox, but Anderson could change all that. His smooth and fluid swing is said to be "tailor-made" for Fenway Park as he has great opposite field power. Anderson has great plate discipline and high OBP numbers, something Boston management surely loves. He swings and misses a little too much, especially against off-speed pitches, but that is something the Sox can both deal with and try to fix as he matures.

Fielding:
At 6'4", he's a big target at firstbase, but has limited range as a result of his size. Overall position presence is solid with good hands and the ability to digg out many low throws coming across the diamond. While he has played firstbase throughout his short time in the Sox farm sytsem, he played the bulk of his high school baseball in left field, so while unlikely, that has not been ruled out as a possible location should firstbase be blocked in the long term.

Future:
Most basball scouts compare Anderson to Justin Morneau, nothing wrong with that. Most expect to see Anderson up with the big league club this season when the rosters expand in September. That said, injuries or an explosive year from Anderson in double A could push things along faster than expected.

After writing this I have to remind myself that he is still just potential, that's all, nothing proven, nothing etched in stone....but it's tough not to get excited about this guy.

3 comments:

Tim Murphy said...

I would be all for trading this guy for Jarrod Saltalamacchia if thats what Texas wants. Theo can always fill the void at first base with a pick up in free agency.

Sounds like Texas wants pitching though, they have a lot of hitters down there.


Don't mess with Texas.

Dale Sams said...

IMHO, that would be a HUGE mistake.

You want to trade the Sox's best power bat prospect for a guy who's a poor defender and mediocre bat? Yes, Salty is young, but if you're going to trade your best batting prospect it's going to be for a trade-deadline sure thing that some team is trying to get rid of for *something*

Not a guy that I'll bet you $10 has a poorer OPS+ then Josh Bard this year. Just my humble opinion....not trying to be a neg nell.

Tim Murphy said...

I don't see how it can be a huge mistake, Lars has never played above double A ball. If it turns out to be a Jeff Bagwell situation thats one thing, but we don't know yet.

I've also heard that Salty has been playing very well in the Dominican Leauge both offensively and defensively, couple that with the fact he's young and from all accounts has great potential and I think you would make that trade, however Texas wants pitching, Lars isn't on the table.

Lastly, the Sox need a catcher of the future, something that could be hard to find in free agency. Mauer is up after the 2010 season, however thats going to be bidding war to get him just like Teixeira. It would be much easier to find a good third or first baseman (depending where you play Youk) via trade/or free agency.

We'll keep an eye on the OPS's for sure.

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