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Red Sox Farm Friday: Lars Anderson

Lars Anderson is the reason Mark Teixeira won’t be coming to Boston.

Now that I have your attention, I’m not trying to say the Red Sox won’t pursue Teixeira, but doing so creates more problems than it solves. When you have a potential 30-HR bat like Anderson in the minors, its just smart not to clog up the system. Look at the Dodgers for example: Matt Kemp and Andre Ethier were stuck behind numerous veterans.

There are more problems that come along with signing Teixeira but that’s a topic for another day.

The Lars Anderson Story

Lars Anderson was an 18th round selection by the Red Sox and a great example of how deep pockets get you ahead in baseball, even at the draft. Anderson coming out of Jesuit High School was demanding a $1 million singing bonus, too expensive for most teams. He had hit .451 with 14 homers, 11 doubles and 42 RBIs in 71 ABs his senior year. So, although he was rated the #41 best prospect by Baseball America in the 2006 draft, he fell way down, allowing Boston to sweep up one of the current Top 10 prospects.

Because of his high demands, he wasn’t placed at a minor league affiliate until 2007. He started his career playing low-A ball for the Greenville Drive down in South Carolina. In 458 AB’s he managed a 0.288/0.385/0.443/0.828 line showing good contact and on-base skills. He ended the year with a promotion to High-A ball in Lancaster.

In 2008, he continued his hot play in High-A Lancaster and got promoted to AA Portland on July 15th. There he really showed off his bat hitting 0.316/0.436/0.526/0.962 over 133 AB’s. His performance didn’t go unnoticed. The Red Sox named Anderson the 2008 Red Sox Minor League Player of the Year.

Scouting Report

Here’s what Baseball America had to say about Anderson, who they currently list as Boston’s #1 prospect, “Anderson has plus raw power and an advanced, patient approach for such a young hitter. He generally swings at strikes and isn’t afraid to go deep in counts. His defense around the bag also impressed one scout, who liked how he scooped balls in the dirt to save errors.”

Down the Line

In 2009 expect to see Lars Anderson start in AAA Pawtucket. Depending on how he does, he could see some bench time down the stretch. If he struggles to maintain his power and strikeouts, the front office will keep him down in Pawtucket to work through 2010. Most likely, Lars will meet his AAA expectations and a plan for his future will have to be made.

So in 2010 expect Lars to be in the discussion for a starting role. In his way will be Mike Lowell, who will be in the final year of his contract, and Kevin Youkilis who would appear to be a Red Sox staple at the 1st base position. The last possibility would be an Ortiz replacement, but no one should hope for that

Potential Career Year Numbers: .310/.400/.560/.960, 35 HR’s, 110 RBI’s

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Discussion

One comment for “Red Sox Farm Friday: Lars Anderson”

  1. I foresee the Sox keeping Anderson in Pawtucket for all of 2009, and moving Youkilis to 3B (Youk showed he can still handle third quite capably this post-season) to make room for Lars in 2010.

    His is an interesting story, to be sure. It’s very rare for any player demanding $1 million+ to see that type of bonus outside of the top 3 rounds, and for it to happen in the 18th is almost unheard of. Its has obviously worked out quite well for the Sox thus far.

    Posted by Reid | November 7, 2008, 8:11 pm

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