Lars Anderson, the top position player prospect for the Red Sox, is currently demolishing Double-A at the young age of 20. He opened the year at Single-A Lancaster and hit 317/.409/.513 in 306 at-bats. In 109 at-bats for Portland, he is hitting .318/.322/.535 and the consensus across baseball is that he is a future 40-home run hitter. Lars took some time to answer some questions…
How are you dealing with being a 20-year old and being on the move a lot? It must be hard to tie yourself to a place or stay in consistent touch with friends.
Yeah, it’s tough being in transit all the time, but seeing different landscapes and meeting new and interesting people is a joy that keeps me going.
What would you be doing if you were in college right now? Do you sometimes wonder if you made the right decision?
I have no idea how I would be doing in school, but I am sure that I would love it. Education is beautiful. I questioned my decision in the beginning but I am confident now that it was the right and necessary one — life is based on difficult decisions and second guessing will drive one crazy.
It seems as if a lot of people are heaping expectations on you. SoxProspects.com has you as the best position player prospect and Red Sox fans all around are dreaming of you hitting 40 home runs in your rookie year. Do those outside expectations have any influence on your life?
In my experience, having big expectations usually leads to big disappointments. Living in the present moment is much more of a focus then what is down the road in minutes, hours, days, months, and years to come.
From the lens of a minor league player who recently experienced the draft, what’s your take on the current Pedro Alvarez situation? Alvarez, the first round pick this year, has Scott Boras as his agent and verbally agreed to a contract two weeks ago, but Boras has since demanded more money.
I don’t know anything about the Alvarez situation so I cant comment on that.
Several scouts have said that your bat is good enough to have you compete for a big-league job in spring training next year. Do you think you’re capable of playing in the major leagues right now?
I have no idea if I am ready to play in the big leagues right now. I have no experience to know, I would love to find out though.
The Red Sox presumably don’t have a position for you with Kevin Youkilis at first base and David Ortiz at DH, although they could certainly make room by trading Youk. How do you deal with this uncertainty?
I don’t think about that at all. I will say this: if one can compete and play well, it usually works out.
What has enabled you to channel the success in the hitter’s paradise that is Lancaster into continued success at Portland?
Lancaster didn’t make me the hitter I am; the 20 years of hard work and love of swinging a bat has. I have had the same approach since I started playing so I think that is what has helped me adapt to each level i have played, pony ball to AA.
Are you concerned at all with your high strikeout totals? Why?
A strikeout is an out just like a ground ball is an out. I would rather take a quality swing and strike out then take a mediocre one and pop out to the catcher. It’s all about having quality at bats which sometimes leads even to strikeouts, so I am not worried about it at all.
Do you alter your approach depending on if there is a right-hander or left-hander on the mound? You seem to absolutely maul righties so far in Portland, but lefties have been giving you trouble. What’s the reason?
I try to keep the same approach every at bat, regardless of the pitcher… I think I hit lefties better in Lancaster, so I have no explanation.
What are your plans for this off-season? Are the Sox looking to send you to play more ball? Do you have anything special you plan to do once you get through the year?
I want to travel in the off season and see some new places as well as get in touch with nature a little more. I think I have lost that contact with its natural beauty a little bit so I want to regain that.
You’re a big fan of music, so why don’t you tell me what you want your walk-up song to be when you finally hit the majors.
Let’s cross that bridge when we come to it.
If you could tell Red Sox fans at large one thing, just one thing about yourself, what would you want them to know about you?
If the Sox had to know one thing about me, I would tell them that listening to “Little Wing” by Jimi Hendrix is the best thing to do.
Thanks to Lars for taking some time to answer some questions… Hopefully he and Papi are hitting bombs together soon!