|Born: May 8, 1987
Height: 6′ 7″
Drafted: 12th Round, 354th Overall, 2008
How Acquired: Draft
College: Southern University
WTM’S PIRATE PLAYER PROFILES
|Anderson evidently comes by his size honestly, as his father played in the NFL. The son played in the Southwest Athletic Conference, which also produced another recent Pirate minor leaguer in Marcus Davis. Anderson didn’t dominate the SWAC to the absurd degree that Davis did. His bat speed isn’t great, so he doesn’t generally pull the ball a lot, but he has the power to hit the ball out of any part of the park. The lack of bat speed, though, requires him to get his swing started early and he can be victimized by offspeed stuff. He’s not good defensively and is prone to errors. He’s also been prone to nagging injuries, which may have affected his performance at times.
Started at first for State College until going down for the season with an ankle injury in mid-August. He hit for fairly good power but fanned in nearly a third of his ABs.
Was the starting firstbaseman for West Virginia initially, then shared 1B and DH roles with Kyle Morgan. Anderson got off to a good start, with an OPS of .961 in April, but he cooled off after that. His overall power production wasn’t enough for a player limited to 1B and he hit only five HRs after May. He had a reverse platoon split, with an .820 OPS against RHPs and .701 against LHPs. His plate discipline was poor, although it improved from a BB:K ratio of less than 1:5 in first two months to 1:2.7 afterward. He had some minor injuries, missing time now and then throughout the season; he played in more than 19 games in only one month. He also missed some time when Pirates took him out of lineup to work on his swing. He had ten errors in only 58 games at first.
Anderson started at first for Bradenton all year. He had good months in May and June, then fell off a cliff. In those two months he hit .317 with eight HRs, but he hit only .206 with two HRs after June. His plate discipline remained poor. He did avoid the injury bug for the most part. He had a big platoon split of .884 against LHPs and .674 against RHPs, so the reverse split in 2009 probably didn’t mean anything. Unlike many teammates, he hit about the same at home and on road. He had 23 errors, more than twice as many as any other player at that position and roughly twice as many as most entire teams in the league.
The Pirates sent Anderson back to Bradenton and, with Aaron Baker slated to play first there, they tried Anderson in the outfield during spring training. That probably didn’t work out too well, as he ended up serving strictly as a DH. He got off to a slow start, hitting for pretty good power but batting only .207 in April and May. In June, however, he got blistering hot and batted 373/430/653. Unfortunately, a late-June wrist injury knocked him out until the season’s final two games. His final numbers were good, but his plate discipline remained very bad. He fanned in 37% of his ABs. Even during his red-hot month in June he had nine walks and 22 Ks, which was roughly one whiff every three and a half ABs. He again hit lefties much better (.922 OPS) than righties (.807). He also hit far better on the road than at home, a rarity for the Marauders.
It’ll be interesting to see what the Pirates do with Anderson. It’d be unlike them to leave a player at a level for three years, but the strike zone issues raise questions whether he’ll be able to hit AA pitching. With Baker gone in the Derrek Lee trade, the Pirates may move Anderson up to Altoona, although Matt Curry probably will be there to open 2012. Anderson was eligible for the Rule 5 draft but, not surprisingly, went unselected.