Drafted by the Philadelphia Phillies in the second round of the 1995 amateur draft, Marlon Anderson has seen both success and failure in various roles while in the big leagues.
While at times he has been a decent bat off the bench for the Mets, he is more commonly known for being a "clubhouse guy," since he is very popular with the rest of the team.
A career .265 hitter, Anderson is coming off his worst season to date as a professional, one where he hit just .210 with one long ball and 10 runs batted in. This was just one year removed from a season during which he hit .319 with three home runs and 23 RBI in 43 games as a bench player for the Mets.
"Is there a better pinch-hitter in the game right now than Marlon Anderson?"
The answer is no, Gary. There wasn't.
But that was 2007. 2008 is definitely one to forget for Marlon Anderson, who has said numerous times that he is now healthy this spring and is in the best shape of his life.
However, he said the same thing last spring, and yet he performed like a washed-up 40 year-old has been.
Now 35 years-old, Anderson will have to prove he can get back into his winning ways again and become one of the best pinch-hitters in all of baseball. If he can do so, the Mets will have a great option to go to late in games when the pitcher's spot comes up, as well as when Carlos Delgado needs a rest at first base.
His success doesn't necessarily make or break the Mets' 2009 season, but they sure could use his bat come August and September to help get them over the hump.
Personally, I don't think he will ever reclaim his 2007 success. However, I don't think he will repeat his 2008 failure, either. I will always be a huge fan of Anderson, mainly because he played an important role for the Mets in 2007 (before they choked) and came up big in many situations.
Like Endy Chavez, he will always have my support as a fan.
87 G, 138 AB, 1 HR, 10 RBI, .210/.255/.275
53 G, 95 AB, 2 HR, 15 RBI, .245/.295/.310