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.
Who is this Lars Guy?
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.