Anderson was Detroit’s third pick of the night, behind high school outfielder Max Clark at No. 3 overall and high school middle infielder Kevin McGonick at No. 37 in the competitive balance round.
The bat is the best part of Anderson’s game. In 2023, he led the Big Ten in hitting with a .410 average and a 1.224 on-base plus slugging percentage. There’s power there with 21 homers, but shedding the metal bat might hurt his numbers at the big-league level. A home run-to-fly ball rate above 23.9% suggests some power regression is likely in the pros. Still, Anderson has quick enough hands and controls his swing enough to be effective at the major league level, eventually.
Anderson’s strikeout rate has remained consistent at 10.8% over 500 plate appearances, but his walk rate peaked in 2021 at 7.9%, which is still slightly below average. Then there’s the 175 wRC+ and .403 batting average on balls in play to consider. Overall, he’s an interesting bat that could stand to be a little more patient at the plate. There’s certainly a decent ceiling to work with here, but he’s far from a foolproof college bat.
If Anderson can find his power consistently in the pros, he has the potential to be an everyday guy on the roster. Where he fits exactly is a bit more difficult to predict. He moved to second base last season after two years at third.
His arm won’t play at third in the majors and his glove might be better suited at first than second when all is said and done. Perhaps Anderson winds up as a designated hitter in the end, but it’s not fair to take his glove away from him at this point.
Anderson’s slot value is $1,906,200. The Tigers have 18 more picks in the 2023 draft. Rounds 3-10 will air on Monday beginning at 2 p.m. EDT.