Lars Anderson is now with his fourth organization in the past six months, as the Blue Jays claimed the former top prospect off waivers from the White Sox.
Previously he was traded from the Red Sox to the Indians in July, got sent to the Diamondbacks in the three-team Shin-Soo Choo/Trevor Bauer deal, and then got claimed off waivers by the White Sox three weeks ago.
Anderson cracked Baseball America‘s annual top-100 prospects list three times, including No. 17 overall in 2009, but he’s hit just .260 with a .415 slugging percentage in 533 games between Double-A and Triple-A. He has good on-base skills, but at age 25 he needs to show significantly more power to have any sort of big-league future at first base.
The Red Sox and Mariners left nothing on the table Friday night, going head-to-head in a series opener that eventually ended 14-10 in the Sox’ favor. Led by Steven Wright and Wade LeBlanc — neither of whom made it past the fifth inning — the teams combined for 34 hits and four home runs, including two moonshots from Seattle’s Nelson Cruz and a five-run rally that gave Boston the edge in the seventh.
In the sixth inning, however, the Red Sox were still scrambling to make up a four-run deficit. Left fielder J.D. Martinez cut it in half with one swing, pouncing on an 89.5-mph fastball from Seattle right-hander Nick Vincent and posting it to dead center field for a two-run shot.
The 427-foot blast was Martinez’s 23rd of the season, tying Mike Trout for the most home runs in the league this year. While he still has a ways to go before eclipsing the career-best 45-HR mark he set in 2017, he’s off to a strong start this season: Entering Friday’s game, the 30-year-old slugger was batting .315/.386/.623 with a 1.009 OPS and AL-leading 55 RBI in 308 PA. He finished Friday’s game 4-for-5 with five RBI, just one triple shy of hitting for the cycle.
Heading into the All-Star Break, both Martinez and Trout still have some competition for the home run title. Jose Ramirez is sitting at 22 homers, while Nelson Cruz and Khris Davis are tied at 20 apiece.