Anderson work­ing on pa­tience at plate

Third base­man shows signs of snap­ping out of early hit­ting slump

South Florida Sun-Sentinel (Sunday) - - Sports - By Wells Dusen­bury wdusen­[email protected]­tinel.com; On Twit­ter @dusere­port

MIAMI — Af­ter a slow start to the sea­son, Brian Anderson is hop­ing a more dis­ci­plined hit­ting ap­proach will pay div­i­dends as he looks to build off his strong rookie cam­paign.

Two weeks into the sea­son, the

25-year-old has strug­gled at the plate, hit­ting .191 (9 for 47) with one dou­ble, no home runs, seven walks and 15 strike­outs. Those num­bers are sig­nif­i­cantly lower than last sea­son, when he hit

273/.357/.400 with 11 home runs and 34 dou­bles, fin­ish­ing fourth in the Na­tional League Rookie of the Year vot­ing.

De­spite the tough start, Anderson could be turn­ing the cor­ner. Af­ter be­gin­ning the sea­son 6 for

42, he’s reached base in five of his past seven plate ap­pear­ances against the Cincin­nati Reds and Philadel­phia Phillies.

“I think I’ve slowed it down a lit­tle bit and been a lit­tle more selec­tive with the pitches I want to swing at,” Anderson said. “I haven’t re­ally swung out of the strike zone [in the past two games].

“I think more than any­thing, [it’s been] tight­en­ing up my dis­ci­pline at the plate.”

Through the first 14 games in the sea­son, Anderson’s chase rate (swing­ing at pitches out­side the zone) has been sig­nif­i­cantly higher than 2018. Af­ter notch­ing a

23.3 per­cent chase rate last sea­son

(2,641 pitches), those num­bers have risen to 35.4 per­cent (211 pitches).

Anderson said he spoke with hit­ting coach Mike Pagliarulo and as­sis­tant hit­ting coach Jeff Livesey to dis­cuss his ap­proach and pa­tience at the plate.

“I think it was me try­ing to do a lit­tle bit too much and try­ing to hit ev­ery­thing in­stead of just un­der­stand­ing with my ap­proach and my swing,” Anderson said. “Cer­tain pitches are go­ing to play bet­ter than oth­ers, so just un­der­stand­ing that you can’t hit ev­ery­thing.

“You’ve got to go up there and be smart about how you ap­proach it, be­cause these pitch­ers — their stuff is ridicu­lous — so you’ve got to pick the right pitches to swing.”

De­spite the early re­sults, Anderson has the ben­e­fit of play­ing a full year in the ma­jors and know­ing slumps in­evitably come and go.

“It helps a lot,” Anderson said. “This isn’t my first time up here. It would’ve been re­ally tough get­ting a call-up and then strug­gling right away. Def­i­nitely hav­ing that lit­tle bit of ex­pe­ri­ence I do have is nice to fall back on — know­ing there are go­ing to be ups and downs.” Mar­lins third base­man Brian Anderson is hop­ing a more dis­ci­plined ap­proach at the plate will help him break out of an early sea­son slump in which he went 6 for 42.

JOHN AMIS/AP

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