How Does Brian Anderson Fit with the Brewers?

Free agency is still ticking, as a flurry of moves have went down in Major League Baseball in recent days. Former Marlins infielder/outfielder Brian Anderson was non-tendered by Miami this winter, but now he has a new home. Anderson will reportedly join the Brewers for 2023, as Milwaukee adds a toolsy player that fits the analytically-driven organization.

Related: 2023 MLB Fantasy: How Much Should Reds Pitcher Hunter Greene Be Valued?

A Look at Anderson

A third-round pick by the Marlins in 2014, Brian Anderson has been a relatively steady performer throughout most of his career. The former Marlins infielder posted a solid rookie season in 2018, in which he hit .273/.357/.400 with 11 home runs and 49 extra base hits. Anderson’s 2018 campaign earned a fourth-place finish in the NL Rookie of the Year award race.

Anderson posted three consecutive seasons from 2018-2020, in which he recorded an OPS above league average, and double digits in home runs. While the 29-year-old isn’t known for being a power hitter, Anderson does possesses a fair amount of pop. The new Brewers infielder has recorded Hard Hit% rates above league-average in each of his five full seasons, and above-average Barrel% in four of those. Approach-wise, Anderson can mash at pitches down in the zone, as well as away.

The University of Arkansas product will strike out a fair amount, and Anderson has recorded a below-average Whiff% rate throughout his career. However, the 29-year-old does have a fair amount of strength and power, and the ability to work counts and draw walks. Anderson’s career 9.3% BB% is about a point above the MLB league average. Given those assets, as well as Anderson’s past experience both in the infield and outfield, it’s not hard to see why an analytically-friendly Brewers squad wanted him.

Despite a down 2022 campaign, the former Marlin infielder boasts a career OPS+ of 105, above league average. Now, he’ll head to Milwaukee to join a re-aligned infield core.

What it Means

The winter of 2022 has not been a wild offseason for the Brewers, but Milwaukee has added a number of pieces that should make this group deeper for next season. As far as Milwaukee’s infield goes, the Brewers returned two 30+ home run hitters from last season in Rowdy Tellez and Willy Adames, as well as infielders Luis Urías and Mike Brosseau. Additionally, Milwaukee added Abraham Toro via trade from Seattle.

Anderson will join that group, but it’s quite possible that Milwaukee does use him substantially in the right field. As things as far things stand right now, Milwaukee’s notable outfielders on the 40-man roster include Garrett Mitchell and Tyrone Taylor as options in center, as well as left fielders Christian Yelich and Jesse Winker. As far the latter two are concerned, both Yelich and Winker ranked in the bottom 15% of the league in Outs Above Average last season. With 182 games of career experience in right field, Anderson will most likely get time there again this season.

Here’s one more quick note on the other infield options — Urías played second, third, and short last season, while Toro split 2022 between second and third with Seattle. Teams value versatility in today’s game, and those two, coupled with an infielder/outfielder in Anderson does give Craig Counsell options for this upcoming season..

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