Jacksonville Sports Day

SUNS: Anderson Named Southern League Player of the Week

Photo by Roger C. Hoover

Jacksonville Suns third baseman Brian Anderson has been named the Southern League Player of the Week for August 15-21, announced by the league office on Monday.

Over the past six games, Anderson hit .423 (11-for-26) with three home runs, eight runs batted in, plus two doubles and seven runs scored. His efforts helped the Suns go 5-1 in that stretch, defeating the Mississippi Braves last Monday in Jacksonville before the Suns won four of five games in their series against the Tennessee Smokies at Smokies Stadium from Wednesday to Sunday.

“I’ve felt great,” Anderson said about this past week. “I’m getting good pitches in the zone to hit and I’m able to put good swings on it. So I’ve been on time with my swing and it’s just worked well for me lately.”

His stretch at the plate over the past week included a performance on Thursday August 18 where he matched a career-high with four hits in a game, going 4-for-5 with two RBI and two runs scored in Jacksonville’s 11-7 win at Tennessee in the second game of the series.

Anderson, 23, is enjoying a resurgence in August, hitting .293 this month with five homers and 14 RBI in 19 games played. That is compared to July, where he only hit two home runs and 10 RBI in 28 games.

“Our hitting coach Rich Arena has worked with me just to simplify things in the batting cage,” Anderson said. “He’s worked with me a lot, he’s an extremely hard worker. Any time I want to go in there and hit early he’s always ready to go. But he’s helped me simplify, I’m just trying to see the ball in the zone and hit pitches that I want to hit.”

Overall this season, Anderson is hitting .247 with the Suns with eight home runs and 32 RBI. He began the season with the High-A Jupiter Hammerheads, where he hit .270 with 11 home runs and 57 RBI before joining the Suns at the end of May. His strong month of May where he hit .293 for the Hammerheads earned Anderson the Marlins Minor League Player of the Month honor.

Anderson was selected by the Marlins in the third round of the 2014 draft out of the University of Arkansas. Anderson is listed by Baseball America as the No. 6 Marlins prospect for 2016, and in the updated MLB.com prospect rankings he is regarded as the No. 4 Marlins prospect. He is a native of Edmond, Oklahoma and is in his first season playing at the Double-A level.

Anderson is the first Suns player to be named the league’s Player of the Week, and the only other Southern League weekly honoree for the Suns in 2016 was Austin Brice, who was named the Southern League Pitcher of the Week for the week of April 7-17.

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