Lars Anderson Update
Time for an update on Red Sox first base prospect Lars Anderson.
Anderson currently ranks seventh in the California League with a .916 OPS, with a complete line of .317/.411/.505, 18 doubles, 11 homers, 45 walks, and 57 strikeouts in 281 at-bats. The league OPS is .744, so his OPS is 23 percent above league context. A left-handed hitter, he's destroying southpaws to the tune of .383/.462/.617. Against right-handers he's at .290/.391/.460, an interesting reverse platoon split but one that likely indicates he won't have to be platoooned at higher levels. I like the high walk rate along with reasonable strikeouts. His home run power may be a bit less than you'd expect from a 6-4, 215 pounder, although he's obviously dangerous and his home run power is expected to continue to increase. He is still just 20 years old.
On the negative side, Anderson has a sharp home/road split, .359/.451/.579 at home in the friendly confines of Lancaster, .272/.365/.426 on the road. On the other hand, the home/road split has lessened of late. He spent some time on the DL with a sore wrist in May, and has been blistering hot since returning to action in June, hitting .369/.450/.533 in 30 games since returning from the wrist injury.
As many of you know, Anderson was the first round pick of my Shadow Draft Twins in 2006. He would be playing in the Florida State League in that alternate universe, where his season line would be something about .298/.388/.473 adjusted for league (though not park) context.
Lars is certainly one of the better first base prospects in the game, though not all questions have been answered yet. How much should we worry about the home/road split? Will that continue to ease as the season progresses? Does the reverse platoon split mean anything? And will he be a 15-20 homer guy, or can he push the homers higher as he moves up? All intriguing questions to which I don't know the answers. Do you?