The recent injury to All-Star 1B Kevin Youkilis—season ending thumb surgery will be required to repair a torn muscle—has reopened the potential for seeing Anderson in Boston this year.
22-year-old Lars was drafted by the Red Sox in 2006 out of high school.
In 1737 minor league AB's through four seasons, Lars has a cumulative batting average of .277, with 50 home runs and 262 RBI's.
In 2010 Anderson has split time between AA Portland and AAA Pawtucket. In 358 total at-bats, he has 12 HR's, 53 RBI's, and a .263 batting average.
What to like -- Anderson is a big, 6'4, 215 pound, left handed first baseman who is only 22. He has a good deal of power already at a young age, and has the potential to reach a lot more.
Anderson has a great eye—he's taken 263 walks through his four minor league seasons—and a great overall knowledge of the strike zone.
Lars hits lefties well—a .307 mark vs lefties through his first two seasons—and is extremely capable of going the other way.
Anderson has the potential to contend for batting titles, and has a basic, structured approach to hitting that the Red Sox organization instills in all their young players.
His opposite field ability is tailor made for Fenway Park and the green monster, giving him the perfect arena to hash out his power upside while not sacrificing any of the average and simple hitting approach.
Anderson is athletic for his position and plays decent defense. It isn't something he hangs his hat on, but it doesn't hurt him either, and he always has the potential to improve with ample coaching available on the big league level.
What not to like -- Lars has regressed somewhat in the eyes of some scouts. He suffered a back injury in 2009 that limited his play and significantly decreased his overall hitting numbers—.233 average, .328 OBP, 9 HR, and 51 RBI's in 447 AB with AA Portland.
Despite a better 2010, Anderson is batting only .205 in his last 10 games with AAA Pawtucket.
Likely Scenario -- While it seems likely that we will see Anderson in Boston at some point in 2010, the Red Sox may be disinclined to give him a majority share of the first base role while he is amidst a slump, fearing that it could mess with the mechanics and confidence of such a young player if it were to continue in the big leagues.
No matter his upside, it remains clear that Lars is not quite a finished product. The Red Sox aren't a team that would promote a young talent like Anderson only to sit him on the bench, and they might not consider him finished enough to assume such a large role.
It seems that a call up after September 1 is more likely than an impending promotion to the big leagues.
What's in the future -- For a young, talented, 22-year-old with a high ceiling, it's almost impossible to predict where Lars will end up.
This upcoming offseason for the Red Sox provides them with many options that could impact where Lars starts the 2011 season.
For starters, 3B Adrian Beltre, C/1B Victor Martinez, and DH David Ortiz are all upcoming free agents. Who the Sox choose to bring back would affect the corner infield positions—departure of 3B Adrian Beltre could result in Kevin Youkilis assuming day-to-day duties at third, leaving a hole at first.
It's possible that Anderson could fill this role, but it's just as likely he could be dealt in a deal involving first basemen Prince Fielder or Adrian Gonzalez,, both of whom are expected to be available in the offseason. The signing of a player like Adam Dunn would also shut the door on his arrival in Boston.