On the Horizon: Lars Anderson

There is not a whole lot of power in the Red Sox farm system right now, but Lars Anderson has been named Boston’s best power prospect by Baseball America. This guy is just 19 years old (he’ll be twenty in two months) and is currently playing for Gabe Kapler as a member of the Greenville Drive. He’s already 6-4 and is listed at 210 lbs, and could grow into a mammoth of a man when he’s done.

Anderson is left-handed and features a nice, smooth swing. He’s fairly patient at the plate, and he’s got length and long arms to go with a pretty quick bat, so he could develop some real power. He is a pretty decent athlete, despite his size, but probably will be below average defensively at first base.

Don’t let the foreign-sounding name fool you, Anderson was drafted in the 18th round of last year’s draft out of Jesuit HS in Carmichael, California. (Some think he could have gone in the first few rounds, but he slipped because he demanded a $1M contract.) Out of 17 XBH there in 29 games, 14 were HRs, and he put up a .423/.574/1.013 line. He also lettered in basketball there. He played on the USA Stars squad at the Tournament of Stars, and led the USA Junior National Team in RBI in the PanAm games his junior year.

He’s compiled a nice .297/.385/.466 line in 350 AB at Greenville this year. He started off very strong, but has hit a rut in July. He’s hit an impressive 31 doubles so far, and 39.4% of his hits have been for extra bases. He still strikes out a lot, but his walk rate is 12.5%, and his OBP is to the liking of the Red Sox brass. Lars is definitely still raw, though, as he hits an inordinate number of groundballs (61% this year). He’s said that he admires Albert Pujols for what he’s become, even though he was not drafted highly. Let’s wait and see; he could turn out to be a late-round steal for the Sox.


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