According to multiple reports, Brian Anderson, the 15th overall pick in the 2003 draft, will abandon his career as an outfielder and will attempt to start over as a pitcher. The story, which first surfaced on April Fool's Day, has been confirmed by multiple sources, including the team's official site and the Associated Press.â†µ
"Brian Anderson has elected to become a pitcher," manager Trey Hillman said on Thursday. "I'm not sure how that process is going to go, but it's got to start at the very bottom, so we're kind of mulling through that right now."â†µ
The Royals have some experience with this scenario, as they allowed former shortstop Tony Pena Jr. to attempt a conversion to pitcher in 2009. Pena is now in camp with the San Francisco Giants as a reliever. Moreover, in part Anderson has lost his spot in the Royal outfield thanks to the presence of Rick Ankiel, who notably converted from a pitcher to an outfielder earlier in the decade.â†µ
Anderson signed with the Royals for $750,000 in December, and was once considered the center-fielder of the future with the White Sox. Although Anderson has only hit .227 with 22 home runs in 355 Major League games, he has a good reputation as a defensive player. Considering the industry-wide interest in defense, Anderson's decision seems drastic. However he may have interpreted his inability to make the Royals Opening Day roster as a sign that such a move was necessary.