This much is known about 1B/OF Leslie Anderson: He certainly can hit in Fort Myers.
Anderson drove in three runs Sunday, including the go-ahead run in the top of the 10th inning of the Rays 10-7 victory against the Twins at Hammond Stadium. Add his production Saturday against the Red Sox a few miles east and Anderson has a .600 batting average, a 1.200 slugging percentage and five RBI in five trips to the plate.
"Good at-bats," Rays manager Joe Maddon said. "Beyond that, I'm liking what he's doing on defense. … Watching him pregame it looks to me as though he's gotten a better feel for the position, also. He's looking really good. He's a different player than what I saw the last time I saw him."
The Cuban native signed with the Rays in 2010 and reached Triple A Durham after making stops at Class A Charlotte and Double A Montgomery. He is a.297 batting average during his time with the Bulls, including as .309 average, 14 home runs and 56 RBI in 2012.
"I feel great right now," Anderson said Sunday through Rays clubhouse attendant Jose Fernandez, who provided the translation. "Everything is working. I'm looking to open some eyes and get a chance to play."
The left-handed hitting Anderson split his time in the minor leagues between first base and the corner outfield spots. The Rays plans for first base this season include James Loney, Sean Rodriguez and Kelly Johnson, so Anderson is likely headed back to Durham.
While the first two days of exhibition games is hardly enough of a sample, Anderson is at least off to a good start in his quest to let the Rays know his time is near.
Anderson swinging hot bat for Tampa Bay Rays
Tampa Tribune | Feb 25