After a meteoric rise in expectations last year, expectations have fallen drastically this year for Lars Anderson. According to The Boston Globe, Anderson is not worried about his rank among the top Red Sox prospects, but feels comfortable with his place in the organization for the first time.
Baseball America ranked Anderson as the No. 17 prospect in baseball following a 2008 season, in which he hit .316 in 41 games with Double-A Portland. Anderson's struggles in 2009 dropped him to No. 87 on Baseball America's top 100 prospects this year.
Anderson admits he was not mentally ready to deal with high expectations and hit only .233 with nine home runs and 51 RBIs in 119 games with Portland.
"The spotlight was pretty hot for a second, and I don't think I was mentally ready for that," Anderson told the Globe. "That started to really freak me out a little bit."
The Red Sox remain high on their 22-year-old first-base prospect and see him as their first baseman of the future. Boston's director of player development Mike Hazen understands Anderson needs time to develop.
"He's still a very young guy that's learning how to play the game every day," Hazen said. "He's getting better and better and better."
Anderson's 2010 campaign has started well as the first baseman singled and scored twice in the Red Sox' 15-0 win over Northeastern on Wednesday. The 18th-round draft pick in 2006 is ready to keep rolling, but he's not putting any pressure on himself.
"I don't know where I stand in their eyes or whatever," Anderson said. "But for me, this is as comfortable as I've felt since I've been here. I feel really at home."