Going into tonight’s game against the Tampa Bay Rays, the Boston Red Sox find themselves seven and a half games behind Tampa for the wild card spot in the American League. Barring an unforeseeable collapse by the Rays, the Red Sox season is essentially over.

When September comes, teams out of the playoff race call up prospects for a taste of Major League action. I don’t think the Red Sox thought they would be one of those teams at the beginning of the season, but the reality of the situation is, they are.

One of the players the Red Sox will take a look at down the stretch is Lars Anderson. Anderson was once considered the crown jewel of the Red Sox organization, but his luster has worn off over the last two seasons.

In his first two minor league seasons, Anderson put up a .305/.405/.482 hitting line and looked like he was the next coming of Justin Morneau.

However, a wrist injury really derailed his season last year and since being promoted to Triple-A this season, he has been nothing but average at best.

I have to believe that the original long-term plan for Anderson was to have him either be the starting first baseman or DH as early as next year.

I don’t see that being the plan at all for 2011. In order for Anderson to make a case for himself to be on the Red Sox roster, he is going to have to kill it in Triple-A next year.

Anderson will make his debut tonight and bat eighth for the Red Sox.

Here are some more facts about Lars Anderson:

Age: 22

Bats: Left

Throws: Left

College: None. Went to Jesuit High School in Carmichael, CA.

Drafted: 18th round of the 2006 June Draft

Minor League Stats:

2007 Single A, High Single A: .292/.393/.446, 6 HR, 37 doubles, 134 games

2008 High Single A, Double A: .317/.417/.517, 18 HR, 32 doubles, 118 games

2009 Double A: .233/.328/.345, 9 HR, 23 doubles, 119 games

2010 Double A, Triple A: .262/.340/.428, 10 HR, 37 doubles, 113 games


Keith Law Ranking and Analysis:

Ranking: No. 57 out of 100 best prospects in baseball for 2010.

Analysis: “The universal answer to the question of ‘What happened to Lars Anderson in 2009?’ seems to be ‘You tell me.’ Anderson came into the season as a polished hitter with patience, plate coverage and power, started slowly and finished horribly, with just one home run after June and a .201/.298/.265 line during that span.

Nothing changed about his mechanics—he starts with a big move down into the hitting position, after which he takes a short path to the ball and…well, he used to drive it to all fields and show big pull power, at least in BP, but everything went awry for him in 2009, and the cause appears to be more mental than physical or mechanical.

Anderson is an unusually intelligent player—he was spotted at spring training one year on a back field, by himself, reading “Lonesome Dove”—and should be able to find his way out of the morass, but sometimes the game’s challenges get too deep into a player’s head, and some players never recover.”

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