According to Red Sox farm director Mike Hazen “Right now he’s a first baseman. We feel like he’s going to be good at that position,” ........“But if he’s the best guy available (in the minors) and his only way onto the team is to play left field, even to stand in left field, I have a hard time thinking we’re not going to run him out there for a few games to see what he looks like.”
Anderson has never played anything but first base in the pros, but admits to occasionally manning the outfield in high school (along with pitching at times). He is still learning the nuances of the first base position, but some believe the organization will experiment with him in the outfield once he reaches Pawtucket (which in all likelihood will be this year). There remains a lot to be hammered out on the big league club before finding a place for Lars, as Jason Bay and others will have upcoming contract negotiations, perhaps this is the Red Sox merely being proactive.
Personally, I understand many players are shifted around once they reach Triple A, in part to align their skills with the big league club's positional needs, but I don't think tossing Anderson in left is the best idea here. Let's be honest, everyone is extremely excited to see this kid come up to the bigs, he's one of the most hyped prospects within the Red Sox system in sometime, and certainly the best power-hitting option to come up through the minor league ranks in years.....but forcing a young kid into a new position may prove damaging. If this was Pittsburgh; with no media spotlight and an easy left field to handle, that would be one thing, but running a 21 year old out to play left field at Fenway, an extremely difficult position to play, and under the extreme pressure that is baseball in Boston, that's a totally different world. So much of young player's success is contributed to overall confidence and comfort levels, why challenge that at this point?
For now, I'm perfectly fine with Lars continuing to build on his skills and test his talent against upper minor league players. The 6'4", sweet-swinging lefty has been performing well thus far, and could provide a much needed, long term power solution for the Red Sox lineup....let's keep running with that and see where it takes us over the next year or two, and as Tito says "things will fall into place".