Anderson working on patience at plate
Third baseman shows signs of snapping out of early hitting slump
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.