Player: Brian Anderson
Drafted by: Miami Marlins
DOB: 5/19/1993 (Age: 21)
Height/Weight: 6'3", 185 pounds
Previously Drafted: 2011, 20th round by Twins
A 20th-round pick by the Minnesota Twins three years ago, Brian Anderson's time at Arkansas has been productive enough to push him into the top tier of middle infielders in this draft class.
He's not an elite talent, which isn't good for a player who projects to be a second baseman, but he has done nothing but perform in the SEC for three years. The 21-year-old hit a stellar .325/.448/.488 as a sophomore in 2013 and has followed that up with a career-high six homers this season.
The holes in his game are pronounced, limiting his upside, but he has enough talent to suggest he can turn into a capable middle infielder/utility player in the future.
Full Scouting Report
Note: Numerical scores are on the conventional 80-point scouting scale, with the current score first and projected score second.
Anderson is not the most physical player in the world, but the Arkansas second baseman generates some of the best bat speed in the college game; able to wait back on pitches and unload when he is ready; unpolished swing with a lot of effort and whiffs due to a below-average bat path, so he has to correct that in order to make proper use of the bat speed.
Because bat path and control are fringy at present, it limits his ability to drive the ball; doesn't help that his swing is flat, geared more toward hitting line drives into the gap than hitting the ball over the fence; has enough thump in his wrists and the bat speed to have fringe-average power in the future.
Plate Discipline: 40/45
Anderson tends to lose his swing, which hurts his ability to put the ball in play and get on base; drifts out on his front foot often, resulting in weak contact; eye at the plate is mediocre; struggles to adjust against college off-speed stuff and does not track pitches well for someone with his raw ability.
The best tool Anderson presents is speed; isn't a burner on the bases but runs well down the line and has enough range on defense to be a corner outfielder, likely in left field since his arm strength doesn't profile in right.
Has played all over the field for Arkansas, starting at third base and the outfield most recently, but second base will be his home in pro ball; has good hands and range to both sides; there won't be any Gold Glove awards in his future, but a stable presence in the infield is more than a lot of teams currently have.
An average arm also limits his ability to play different positions on the field; has footwork and a quick release to handle second base but not the arm strength to play deep in the hole or right field.
MLB Player Comparison: Marco Scutaro
Despite a few outlier seasons, Marco Scutaro has been a solid MLB player for a long time. He doesn't have much power and isn't going to get on base at a great rate, but he hits well enough to play every day and has a solid glove in the middle of the field. Anderson's ceiling is identical to that of San Francisco's second baseman.
Projection: Average second baseman on first-division team
MLB ETA: 2017
Chances of Signing: 80 percent
Now is the time for Anderson to cash in on his talents. He's showing less discipline at the plate than before, and without the kind of power to profile in a corner outfield spot, one more year at college is only going to enhance his flaws more. He's a second-round talent who has the tools that would benefit greatly from pro coaching to make better use of his bat speed.