Who is this Lars Guy?

A name that frequently comes up in any discussion of the Red Sox and a possible pursuit of Mark Teixeira is a highly touted prospect named Lars Anderson.  Many of us, Sox fans included, may not know much about this Anderson kid, but he's arriving on the discussion with a fair amount of hype.  We thought we'd touch the subject, so we've got a few links that might articulate just what this kid is all about.

First, the name.  Lars.  Wikipedia tells us that Lars comes from the Roman "Laurentium", which means "to be crowned with a Laurel".  Yankees fans have an emasculating nickname tailor-made for them, should this kid crack the majors and gain a significant role.  "Lau-rel.  Lau-rel.  Lau-rel".  We can hear it already.

Famous people named Lars:  Lars von Trier, gonzo Dogme filmmaker.  Lars Ulrich, art-collecting and aspiring architectural dilettante and bass-thumping Metallica drummer.   Lars Yannerback, or, more familiarly, the artist known as Yngwe Malmsteen. 

Most importantly for Sox fans is his described ability. Anderson can rake.  He's 6-4 and has just turned 21 but has already played 258 games in the minors and ascended to AA, the Eastern League, before he hit legal drinking age.  Last year he hit .317 between A and AA, OPSing .921 in A at Lancaster and .962 at Portland (though in a mere 41 games).  He exhibits some power, with 18 homers, 32 doubles, and a triple over the course of the season. He strikes out a bit (107 in 2008) and is apparently adequate at first.  Having never seen him play, the numbers and the scouts seem to bear out a certain potential.   He's #1 on Baseball America's list of Sox prospects.  The discussions, interviews, and profiles around the web flesh him out more.  We have to admit the linked interview is one impressive session, Anderson seems intelligent and almost bizarrely grounded for such a youngster.  Barring a trade, it seems like we should keep our eyes out for him at Fenway sometime soon.
8 comments… add one
  • Anderson is almost certainly viewed as the replacement for Ortiz should Ortiz start to decline appreciably in 2010 and beyond. Great post, SF. Plus I appreciate anything that includes a Metallica reference.

    Paul SF November 15, 2008, 11:01 am
  • Talk about hype – they’ve already named a bridge after him. :)

    Brownie November 15, 2008, 11:21 am
  • I’ve read what Paul just wrote in other places. Seems like he profiles more as a DH than 1b and that he’s Ortiz’s successor.
    Lars Ulrich was pretty insufferable in Some Kind of Monster. And so was James Hetfield. I felt bad for the other two guys who were clearly hadn’t bought a ticket on the narcissistic pretentious train those two were on. Anyway, it was an entertaining movie.
    This Lars guy scares. I’m imagining that we’ll have our Jesus to counter Lars and there will be heated debates around the two for years to come.

    Nick-YF November 15, 2008, 1:24 pm
  • Lars Anderson excites me… he hits for power and average, and is patient at the plate. And holy crap, he’s only 21? I feel like we’ve been talking about him for several years now. Considering Ortiz may be declining faster than we thought (will his wrist and knee be 100% in 2009?) Lars is more important than ever.
    Oh, and Steinbrenner is apparently ready to make offers to Lowe and Burnett. Can you imagine if they get all THREE: Sabathia, Burnett, and Lowe? Hell, even if they only get 2 out of the 3 they’re going to be strong next season.

    Atheose November 15, 2008, 1:40 pm
  • Lars Lindstrom was the husband of Phyllis Lindstrom (played by Cloris Leachman) in the Mary Tyler Moore Show. (Lars never actually appeared on screeen.) When he died, Phyllis got her own show, one of the three MTM Show spin offs.
    (Cloris Leachman and I attended the same high school, Theodore Roosevelt, in Des Moines.)
    I don’t think the Red Sox are in any hurry to promote Anderson to the big club, although a cameo might be expected this year. If he doesn’t get dealt, I doubt he’s up to stay until 2011. (That’s a hunch, by the way.)
    And at the risk of sounding a bit too parochial, I’d be surprised if Lowe goes to NYY. I just don’t see him taking their offer unless Boston completely snubs him or lowballs him.

    I'mBillMcNeal November 15, 2008, 10:23 pm
  • Glad you liked the video, IBM! Apparently she received dozens of messages on Facebook so she deleted her account. I’m feeling pretty good.
    In other news, the Yankees sold Darrell Rasner to a Japanese team. Lmao.

    Atheose November 16, 2008, 1:44 am
  • “In other news, the Yankees sold Darrell Rasner to a Japanese team. Lmao.”
    Why is this so funny Ath? I think its a good move for Rasner. He wanted to make some money to support his family and its pretty clear this wasnt gonna happen here in the states. Gotta respect a man who realizes his limitations.

    Sam-YF November 16, 2008, 10:05 am
  • Sorry Sam, didn’t know any of the backstory. Anytime a player gets “sold” in the sense that the team only gets money back I think it’s kinda funny. Sort of like the bag-of-balls joke.

    Atheose November 16, 2008, 12:16 pm

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