Max Anderson comes in at 26th on Detroit Tigers Top 30 Prospects list.
As we continue with our countdown of the Detroit Tigers' Top 30 prospects, our Motor City Bengals countdown moves to 26th on the list. At no. 26, Max Anderson is an infield prospect who has a chance to impact the organization in the long haul. He spent the last three years with the Nebraska Corn Huskers, including two summers on the Cape.
The Detroit Tigers went out and selected Anderson with the 45th overall pick in the 2023 MLB Draft. They added in two prep bats early but opted to go and get a college bat who had a heck of a 2023 season.
As a collegiate standout, the 21-year-old was a productive bat in the Corn Huskers lineup for three seasons. Anderson's a 6-foot, 215-pound infielder with a bigger and thicker frame. He's physical and has the strength. The question is where he could factor in down the line.
He may be more compact, with the 6-foot frame and a more sturdy build, but the strength drives this profile. He's a right-handed bat who handles the stick well. There's power upside here, and as a productive run-producer, there's hope for him to do the same within the Tigers' organization.
In 2023, Anderson played in 57 games for the Huskers, where he slashed .414/.461/.771 with 20 doubles, two triples, and 21 home runs while driving in 70 runs. Mighty impressive numbers from the right-handed stick, who earned First Team All-Big 10 honors for his performance in 2023.
He even got started with affiliate ball in 2023, playing in 32 games with the Single-A Lakeland squad. He slashed .289/.345/.445 with 12 doubles, a triple, and two home runs. He also added 21 RBI with 12 walks and 21 strikeouts over 128 at-bats. It was a great first start as he made his affiliate debut.
In the batters' box, the right-hander has a pretty balanced setup with strength in the lower half. He often finds ways to leverage the ball well with an innate feel for the barrel. It's a really simple stroke with a compact swing but the strength to leverage and impact the ball. He has an up-the-middle approach, being able to be on time and on the barrel with pitches.
The upside in the box is real and could very much vault him through the Tigers' organization. He's gotten comparisons to Ty France and Max Muncy from MLB Pipeline, and it sure would give them a nice boost. But that's down the line.
In terms of defense, Anderson is sort of positionless. He played third base for Nebraska in his first two seasons before moving to second base. He handled the position well at the college level, but with fringy range and below-average arm strength, he may need to make a move to first base.
But, looking ahead, the Tigers already have Spencer Torkelson. But, a good enough bat could carry enough weight to intrigue the Tigers. He could also serve as trade bait if the bat really pops. Detroit's got a bat-first profile in Anderson to bank on for the future.
The 2024 season will be Anderson's first full summer in affiliate-ball and could tell fans a lot about what this future could hold with the Tigers organization.