Josh Anderson

Josh Anderson Statistics – Baseball-Reference.com

Anderson seems, oddly, to have simply inherited the centerfield job. With Blanco off playing in the WBC and Schafer nursing an injury, Anderson would have to totally stink up the joint to lose the spot. To his credit, he hasn’t stunk up the joint (so far), but it’s certainly unusual for a 26-year-old nonprospect with 221 career major league plate appearances to be handed a regular job.

He probably should have been pencilled in, but that’s less because of any qualities he possesses than the limits and problems of the other options (the two players mentioned above, plus Omar Infante). Anderson is probably a slightly better glove man than Blanco, but more importantly, he has some power. Not much, but enough that pitchers at least have to be concerned about an extra-base hit. Anderson hit three homers in his limited major league work last year, and that’s probably more than you could expect from him in 136 AB — but Blanco, playing about four times as much, hit only one.

Getting away from Anderson versus Blanco to Anderson as a player, he has extra outfielder skills. He can hit for average (.315 on the major league level, which I doubt he’ll keep up, but a .294 career minor league average, including .314 last season) and he’d probably put up a slugging percentage in the low .400 range, but he doesn’t walk much. With just a few more of those, he could push a team towards a championship, because he really is a fine glove man and he really is a good baserunner, having gone 10 for 11 on stolen bases in the majors last year after going 42 for 49 in AAA. He’s probably as good of a player as Willy Taveras or Juan Pierre, and those guys have made lots of money. Twenty, twenty-five years ago, this was the kind of player a lot of teams had, but it’s a different game now.

90 thoughts on “Josh Anderson”

  1. If only Andruw had signed a reasonably priced long term extension and not declined as an athlete.

  2. He’s listed as 6’2″, 195, but I’m not sure I buy that. He looked real skinny to me last year — like Jason Tyner skinny.

  3. why I like this blog??? its because we dont have people here who debating who is better between Frenchy and Youkilis.

    just wanted to say thanks to everyone for not bringing crap like that here

  4. Does Toronto have anyone we want?

    I’m sure Blanco opened some eyes up there. What a great fit he would be for that park.

  5. Youkilis is great, but he acts like a baby & he looks like G.G. Allin.

    I still love when he gets called out on a close third strike. I also love it when he gets buzzed by Joba Chamberlain. His reactions are priceless.

  6. As long as Youk doesn’t start acting like GG… don’t want to see any man take a crap on 1st base. He does LOOK like a total nutjob when he’s at bat.

  7. MLBTR: “According to Heyman, Andruw Jones told Rangers brass he’s flexible on the March 20th decision date in his contract.”

    HA! can’t imagine why, last I’d seen he was still near 0-fer. Wait, I just checked and he’s 6 for 22 (with 10Ks and no HRs)… that’s not as bad as it was looking after the first 3-4 games.

  8. Failure to monitor I suppose. No death penalty in my opinion. Scholarships may be cut though but that will only mean more non-contributers get the boot to make room for the 5-star recruits.

  9. I think that the NCAA is full of it and should spend its time on matters that might be of some importance instead of trying to take out Alabama for bush-league fraud perpetrated against the school.

  10. Well it would have been nice to have saved that money that they spent on Kawakami … Hanson could have stepped in and been a starter .. we could have spent money on Dunn or somebody … I guess Wren was panicked that he wasnt going to get a starter … hindsight he should have waited … now he is stuck with keeping Lowe, Vasquez , Jurrgins , Kawakami and Glavine … substitue Hanson for Kawaikami and we save 7 million or whatever …

  11. I kinda agree with Mac. Doesn’t the NCAA have bigger fish to fry? Players shouldn’t be manipulating the system to hook people up with text books, but, really, is that where the NCAA’s money is going?

  12. I prefer Blanco to Anderson; I think his higher OBP is more important than Anderson’s better power.

    Hanson’s been good so far but I’m hoping he gets some AAA time instead of being pushed. I’m also for Morton, Reyes, and others starting in Gwinnett.

  13. My barber told me a deal is in the works.

    Yanks get
    Chipper

    Braves get
    Swisher
    Joba

    He has never been wrong before…

  14. It will be very hard to maintain that OBP if pitchers are always willing to groove strikes when Blanco is behind. There aren’t many people who can survive hitting one homer a year.

  15. I wonder how long Pete Rose would last in the MLB today? He totaled 6 home runs from 1980 to 1986. He averaged just under 7 home runs per year in 24 years (160 total). However, he averaged just under 4 home runs per year for his last 15 years in baseball (57 total). He ended up with a career OPS of just under .800, which was aided by 746 doubles and almost 1600 walks. At the very least I don’t think he would be able to play out his last 6 years in today’s environment.

  16. The big difference is the number of guys who have no power; the number of guys with just a little is actually about what it was 20 years ago. But there were only three outfielders (all mentioned in the post — Blanco, Pierre, Taveras) with 350 or more PA and fewer than five homers in 2008. (All had one.) In 1987, there were ten, including Vince Coleman, who had none. Also, the guys back then were better players, including Brett Butler.

  17. Butler will never get in the Hall of Fame — it’ll take a legion of bloggers just to induct Rock, and he has a hell of an uphill battle — but he was an incredibly good player for a very, very long time. Butler was basically a slightly better version of Kenny Lofton, another guy who’s been sorely underrated by his era simply because of a lack of true leadoff men. Both could outslug Gregor by around 100 points.

    But maybe Greg can get a little better with age? I know this is a silly point to make, but Butler’s major league line (.290/.377/.376) looks awfully close to Blanco’s minor league line (.274/.371/.377), though, and if Blanco could just add 5-10 doubles, 3-5 triples, and 1-2 homers a year, he’d actually be a really useful player, and one of the better leadoff men in baseball.

    Maybe Richmond would be a good place for him to add a couple points of slugging. I’m definitely rooting for him.

  18. Going from Blanco to Janderson, you give up OBP, but you gain SLG, SB, and defensively. This makes Janderson the better choice of the two. If we could give Janderson Blanco’s ability to take a walk, we would have a pretty good centerfielder. Unfortunately, the lack of power from our corner outfielders diminishes his value.

  19. I’m a big fan of improving the defense in CF, especially if you aren’t going to be losing much by sitting Blanco. He’s a 4th outfielder. So is Anderson, I’d guess, but we might as well see what he can do. His first two cups of coffee suggested that he can hit for average, and that, with the improved defense and fine baserunning, makes him far more interesting than his counterpart.

    Also, for those interested in how awful Jim Bowden is, you’ll enjoy this: http://www.middletownjournal.com/s/content/oh/story/sports/pro/reds/2009/03/08/ddn030809spmccoy.html

  20. Anderson and Blanco aren’t really all that different overall. They have different skill sets, but it adds up to about the same amount of value, IMO. The big difference is their platoon splits. Anderson’s has been enormous thus far. I don’t think it’ll stay that huge, but I think he definitely hits better vs. RHPs than LHPs.

    To me, this means that Blanco might be the better guy to have an every-day role while Anderson is more useful off the bench. It also means that if the Braves had a RH platoon partner, Anderson would be the preference.

    It also makes me wonder if the Braves aren’t seriously considering an Infante/Anderson CF platoon. Infante has had a ridiculous amount of PT in CF, so I figure the Braves plan to have him back up there if nothing else. His handeness combined with what looks like an inside track at the CF job for Anderson makes me wonder if we’ll see a straight platoon out there. If Infante wasn’t such a bad OF, this might actually work.

  21. Can’t let a Brett Butler reference pass by without noting that he was a fine ballplayer, as well as a sanctimonious prick.

    That is all.

  22. Only on the internet can Gregor Blanco be compared favorably to Brett Butler.

    Wow, just wow.

  23. Blanco is not a Butler-level player, and never will be. There’s a big difference between doing that in the late seventies/early eighties and doing that now. League slugging percentages are about fifteen points higher now. And Blanco strikes out a lot.

  24. @27

    I’m glad to see Hal McCoy exact a little personal retribution. Bowden was a punk to him in Cincy, and now it’s time for a dish of revenge, served cold.

  25. Isn’t the NCAA boycotting Mississippi too because of their state flag? I don’t know, I think I read that somewhere but I don’t follow basketball.

  26. 28: The Braves have had Infante playing CF a lot so far. You’re probably right, and I would anticipate Infante getting some starts against LHPs in CF.

  27. I kind of want to jump to the defense of Brett Butler. I have only met a couple of times briefly, but he strikes me as an incredibly nice guy and somewhat humble.

  28. Chief, hang on. I didn’t say Gregor Blanco could be comparable to Butler. I said Butler outslugged Blanco by nearly 100 points and compared Butler to Kenny Lofton.

    Blanco’d be a nice player if he could add 75 points of slugging. Unfortunately, that doesn’t usually happen without, um, help.

  29. Parish, I’m sure he probably is — my opinion of him is frozen in time from 25 years ago. To be fair, I was calling pretty much everybody a sanctimonious prick back then….

  30. i don’t quite see the love for Gregor Blanco some of you have. He’s no better than a fourth outfielder. And so is Josh Anderson. If Schafer is healthy, the Braves have to go with him as the regular CF.

  31. Did everyone see that Heyward homered twice yesterday in the intrasquad game?

    That’s his 4th homer this spring (that I know of) that does not show up in his stats. The kid can hit and I don’t think it is a joke that he is better than Francoeur right now.

  32. I thought Blanco was pretty terrible in the field last year. He took bad routes, never seemed to know what to do with the wall, and he has zero arm strength.

  33. #46–Schafer needs to spend some time at Gwinnett County learning to hit lefthanders….

  34. Yeah, I don’t think we Schafer before July, at the earliest. If we do, it is a panic move.

  35. Alex,

    chief is only interested in making snarky comments. He doesn’t really care about reading what people actually say. He just wants to make sure everyone knows he is much smarter than anyone else on the site.

  36. @49 & 50

    Agreed.

    I am starting to think though, that we might have one of the best AAA team that I’ve ever heard of.

    Are there any kind of records of these things?

    I know the Chipper/Klesko/Javy team in AA has been the gold standard, but this team could probably beat the Padres (minus Gonzalez and Peavy) in a seven game series.

  37. The reasons I like Blanco are all contained in the word “scrappy.” Other than the ability to see a ton of pitches, foul pitches off, wear a pitcher down, and take a walk, he doesn’t bring a lot to the table. He’s not a particularly good player, certainly not good enough to be a starting outfielder, and not really worth more than the league minimum. He has some speed but isn’t a great base stealer, isn’t a great corner defender, and has Tony Pena Jr.-esque power.

    I like him not because I think he’s talented, but because I think he isn’t particularly talented and nonetheless gets the most out of his abilities, which include a terrific batting eye, terrific eye-hand coordination when it comes to fouling off pitch after pitch. Sometimes the most fun guys to root for aren’t the guys who are blessed with the most talent, but rather the guys who succeed, even modestly, without the most talent.

    (I realize I’m fetishizing a sportswriter’s cliche; obviously, a batting eye is a tremendous talent, as Jeff Francoeur and Josh Anderson would be happy to tell you. But Blanco doesn’t particularly have any great physical gifts, which is what most people think of when they talk about talent, even if it’s a canard.)

    Watching Blanco at bat, seeing him foul off pitch after pitch, then finally work a walk, is one of those quiet pleasures of a Braves game I enjoy the most. I’m not trying to make him into something he isn’t: he isn’t a particularly good player. But I like to think of him as my not particularly good player.

  38. Well, I hopped on the special “Flushing Flash” pre-sale this morning & bought a pair of Braves/Mets tickets for May 12 at Bailout Field.

    The Mets have their game prices tiered. So these Braves can do no better than being tabbed a “Bronze” game—not “Platinum, Gold or Silver.” At least, they aren’t considered a “Value” game like the Nats.

    If anyone wants to buy Mets home games for April or May (including May 11-13 vs Atlanta), click this link. The presale code is, ahem, REYES.
    http://tinyurl.com/dnmg8w

    And I agree with AAR: Sometimes you just like guys. Has nothing to do with stats. I like Blanco for the reasons he mentions.

    Of course, sometimes you just don’t like guys. I don’t like Barry Bonds or Alex Rodriguez. Makes no difference to me that their stats glitter.

  39. AAR – Good comments on Blanco. That summarizes why I like him too.

    Sansho – Acknowledging your qualifier on your opinion of Brett Butler, I think people in the public eye often get judged too harshly when it comes to public relations.

    It has to be extremely difficult to entertain every fan’s requests in public. If you happen to be the 5th guy in half an hour to ask for a player’s autograph when he’s out with his kids, you may not have a good experience. Those experiences gain more and more attention in the forum of cyber space. And negative is repeated more than positive. “People with a good experience tell two people; those with a bad experience tell 200.”

    Athletes are competitors not ambassadors. In general, we need to cut them some slack.

  40. He just wants to make sure everyone knows he is much smarter than anyone else on the site.

    He’s got a long way to go.

  41. Interesting anaylsis system up at :

    http://www.baseballmusings.com/archives/031314.php

    If you go to the trouble to plug in the braves numbers, looks like they are scoring around 4.9 runs a game, which would be considered a very good team. The computer suggested several line ups , but the one that made the most logical sense was

    janderson
    Kelly
    chipper
    Bmac
    Frenchy
    Ganderson
    Escobar
    Kotchman

    had frenhcy with an estimated 16 hrs.

  42. That’s actually a fairly reasonable lineup, although maybe switch Ganderson and Kotchman (I’m expecting something of a bounce-back from Kotch).

    If the Braves score 4.9 runs per game, I think they win the division.

  43. @56

    My dislike of Butler stemmed more from his penchant for publicly trashing teammates, orchestrating team-wide cold shoulders to former replacement players, and saying things like the Giants would never win the World Series because San Francisco was a city of sin. You know, actual sanctimony.

  44. He managed to walk and score a run in the 1st. It’s a whole new Francoeur (I don’t think he turned over a new leaf — I think it’s actually someone else named Francoeur).

  45. For a while now, Jeff has been paying lip service in interviews to the value of taking a walk. Maybe he’s trying to put it into practice. I’ll believe it when I see it happen during a game that counts, but it’s not a bad sign, at least.

    Speaking of one of the few people in baseball who’s a worse hitter than Jeff, Michael Bourn is batting second today. If you’re going to hit him that high in the order, why not just bat him cleanup? Even Bobby Cox doesn’t bat Jeff Francoeur second.

  46. Sanchez hasn’t been the same since he had that cab accident in Miami—or, for that matter, since he was outed for PEDs.

  47. I still have that 715 issue of SI.

    Although I’m not an NFL fanatic, I was always a big fan of SI’s NFL writer, Paul Zimmerman (aka Dr. Z).

    He was one of the few sports writers who could really communicate what was going on with the NFL game. Plus, he was an obsessive, someone who watched tapes of every contest, over & over.

    (When it came to picking games, he was amazing. I play an NFL pool and I always took his column into consideration.)

    Unfortunately, he had a stroke last fall & hasn’t been back. We miss you, Dr. Z.

  48. @72-74

    SI just gave Posnanski the cover this week. He’s not horrible…

    Also, my dad’s gotten SI since before I was born. It’s been staple bathroom reading material for all that time. While I’ll admit my affinity might not be based completely on the consistent quality of the magazine, I can’t deny that it still resonates with me.

  49. I still get SI the mag. Ain’t what it used to be, but it’s plenty good to read on a gym bike.

    This week’s issue actually had a great story about the Dodgers’ move to LA in 1957 & how Walter O’Malley probably isn’t the villain he’s portrayed to be.

    I’d heard this around these parts for a long time, but the story seems to confirm that Robert Moses—Gotham’s imperious, unelected commissioner of everything—was the real culprit.

    If the story’s online, it’s worth reading.

  50. And the Immortal Gorecki has another hit and is at .667. If there were justice in the universe and Chipper Jones’s body were not made out of cheese, he would have no chance to make the team.

    Fixed.

    Posnanski’s terrific, and I like Verducci, but there aren’t a lot of sportswriters around today who can match the stable SI used to have. Maybe the best writers no longer stick with the sports beat. I dunno what it is. Here at The Post, it seems like a ton of our best reporters started out on the Sports desk, and then moved on to bigger and brighter things once they’d proved they could write.

    Wow, Bob Moses is responsible for New York losing the Giants and Dodgers? How could Robert Caro have missed that?

  51. Hey, Frank Rich wrote about Broadway.

    AAR,
    Caro, apparently, didn’t have access to the letters that the O’Malley family recently made public.

    To be clear, it was O’Malley’s decision to leave, but Moses made it extremely difficult to stay with all kinds of shady maneuvers.

    Also, Horace Stoneham was going to move the Giants to the Twin Cities, but Walter O’Malley (with his LA deal in place) convinced him to move to a very willing Bay Area & renew their rivalry on the West Coast.

  52. Gorecki’s an outfielder, and not on the 40-man. If Chipper’s out to start the season, it’s more likely Diory Hernandez makes the team.

  53. Frankly, while I understand the bitterness that Brooklyn felt, let’s face it, no city has a right to a team any more than it has a right to any other business. Sports teams are not municipal utilities. But, given the new information that is out, they probably did have a right to be bitter toward Moses–but they would have to get in line. As I understand from reading an excellent book called The Last Good Season-Brooklyn, the Dodgers and Their Final Pennant Race Together by Michael Shapiro–O’Malley wanted to build a new stadium in Brooklyn but Moses wouldn’t let him because he had other plans for the site and seemed to have an antipathy to using public public land (even for purchase)for sports teams. I don’t know if Moses is the antichrist Caro makes him out to be–Caro does tend to demonize–he certainly didn’t like plans that differed from his own.

  54. I’ve always thought that O’Malley got short shrift. He moved heaven and earth to build a great team, and he really didn’t get the rewards the other owners were getting at the time.

  55. Having lived in the area here for 19 years now, I think I get the connection Brooklyn people had for their team. I’ve talked with plenty of people who grew up with the Dodgers and, as much as any sports stories I ever hear around NYC, those are my favorite.

    And Marc, I believe the SI story is a very condensed version of that Shapiro book.

    As far as I know, Robert Moses was only defeated twice. Once, when he wanted to pave over a portion of Greenwich Village to create an elevated east-west roadway that traversed Manhattan.

    The other, when he wanted to create a north-south roadway from the middle of Long Island, through the beautiful North Shore, to go to a bridge that would be built from Bayville to Connecticut, traversing the LI Sound.

    If anyone wants to demonize Moses over those attempted moves, that’s fine with me.

    Mac,
    O’Malley got caught up in city politics & paid for it. He did get his rewards in LA, however, to be sure.

  56. ububba,

    I’m not saying Moses was a great guy or that he was necessarily good for the city–he obviously wasn’t. I’m just saying that Caro’s writing tends toward the single dimensional (a la Lyndon Johnson) and he doesn’t have much nuance. I read most of The Power Broker but couldn’t finish because, even without knowing much about Moses, it seemed like a very one-sided work. Other than Hitler, it’s hard for me to believe a single person can be 100% evil.

  57. Never read “The Power Broker.” Just saw Rick Burns’ NYC documentaries, which borrowed heavily from it.

    BTW, I’ve read that Hitler also had poor table manners, but he did like his dog.

  58. A band with an unprintable name, (named after a song by the aforementioned GG Allin) once told me that “Hitler Was A Sensitive Man.”

    Strange connection..

  59. I prefer the classic “Drink, Fight & Fuck.” A band in Athens used to do a cover version & it was a regular sing-a-long. Not exactly “Michael Row the Boat Ashore,” but good enough for the Uptown Lounge.

    I still have a vinyl, hand-made version of “Eat My Fuc.” (Was he just too lazy to add the last k?) Anyway, the album cover art is made with Magic Marker & it’s spectacularly offensive.

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