Brian Anderson hadn’t played in a ballpark with a roof before he was the designated hitter for the United States team in the Futures Game last July at Marlins Park. Less than two months later, he was starting a game at third base there for the Marlins. That was just part of the whirlwind of change for one of the organization’s top prospects during a rapid ascent in 2017, from a slow start at Double-A Jacksonville to playing regularly in Miami over the final month of the season. Anderson didn’t even debut in Triple-A until after that midseason appearance in the Futures Game. “When you’re in Double-A grinding out every day it seems like the big leagues is forever away, but you’re actually only one or two calls away. For me, that happened in a month and a half,” Anderson said Monday at Marlins spring training camp. “It’s something that you dream of but you don’t ever quite think it’s going to happen until it does. It was a crazy two months at the end of the season, two months I wasn’t really expecting to happen.” The dream is still taking shape. But with veteran third baseman Martin Prado a couple of weeks away from game action in his progression from knee surgery, Anderson is getting a chance to build on the impression he made in September and could find himself in the Opening Day lineup. The Marlins have already identified their third-round pick in the 2014 draft as their future third baseman. Circumstances and his development will dictate when that curtain rises. “He’s a guy that we like and I think is going to be a really good player,” Marlins manager Don Mattingly said. “We think he can be a premier defender at third. We think there’s a lot of hitting there from the standpoint of he uses the whole field. His power is going to keep coming over time when man-strength gets in there.” Anderson, 24, gave a glimpse of power he already possesses Friday in Lakeland when he clubbed a 430-foot home run against the Tigers’ Matthew Boyd into a cabana area where fans were lounging on beach chairs.
Brian Anderson rises rapidly, bids to start at third for Marlins
Fort Lauderdale Sun-Sentinel | Mar 5