Marlins 3B/OF Brian Anderson has strong case for Rookie of the Year

Even though the Miami Marlins are in a tight race with the Cincinnati Reds for the bottom of the National League standings, there are a handful of players who could potentially become building blocks for their next playoff run.

Brian Anderson leads the Marlins with a .303 batting average and 30 RBI and has played in each of the Marlins 65 games, making him the only rookie in baseball to do so. He is making a case for NL Rookie of the Year by leading all rookies in at-bats, runs, hits and on-base percentage. He’s tied for the lead in multi-hit games and ranks second in batting average, walks, doubles, slugging percentage and RBI.

Anderson is on pace for 109 hits before the All-Star Break, which would be more than any other Marlins rookies. Currently the rookie leader for the Marlins in first half hits is shortstop Alex Gonzalez with 99. When it comes to baseball players age 25 or younger, only Ozzie Albies has more hits than Anderson.

Defensively, Anderson has been compared to former Marlins third baseman Mike Lowell. Even though Anderson has been seeing plenty of time in right field, Marlins manager Don Mattingly believes that the rookie is trending towards being a premier defender at third base and one who will drive runs as a solid mainstay in the middle of the order, similar to what Lowell was during the Marlins 2003 World Series title run.

Mattingly sees Anderson having the numbers to make a strong case for Rookie of the Year so long as he stays healthy, but emphasizes that it’s not something to worry about and what’s important is to just play.

“Just let him play,” Mattingly said, “and his numbers are going to be close.”

If Anderson can continue this paces throughout the season, than he will most certainly become the Marlins fifth Rookie of the Year winner, joining Dontrelle Willis (2003), Hanley Ramirez (2006), Chris Coghlan (2009) and the late Jose Fernandez (2013).

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About: Tony Capobianco

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A graduate of the University of Arizona (2008-2013), Tony Capobianco covered sports from preps to pros since 2011 from the Tucson Citizen to Miami Herald to most recently with the Enid News & Eagle. The "Cuban Cowboy" took a first pitch to the nuts and lived to laugh at the viral video. Follow him @TonyCapobianco

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