After hitting .298 as a 21-year-old in Double-A last year and holding a .305 career minor league average though 924 at-bats, Bryan Anderson's hit tool has already manifested itself in game action against advanced competition. Baseball America correspondent Derrick Goold notes that former major league catcher Mike Matheny, a guest instructor at Cardinals camp, has been working with Anderson on his defense.
"He's a good hitter, and a lot of times good hitters are going to be labeled as offensive-minded people," Matheny said. "You always wonder what their mindset is. But he has a passion for the position."
It's been weeks since Matheny left camp, but his instruction continues.
Anderson was one of the handful of catchers who soaked up everything the Gold Glove-winner said. Matheny would meet with the catchers early in the morning, and he would stress everyday how they had the most responsibility of any player on the field and that meant they had the responsibility to put in more work than any player on the field. Anderson was a devoted pupil.
Matheny won a gold glove as recently as 2005 with the Giants, for whom he threw out 38 percent of runners and allowed just four passed balls in 132 games. Anderson, 22, allowed 15 passed balls last year in 99 games and threw out 27 percent of basestealers last year, down from of the 36 percent mark he posted in 2006 in low Class A.