Leslie Anderson Stephes
- Bats Left, Throws Left
- Height 6' 1", Weight 205 lb.
Anderson debuted with a bang for Camagüey in the 2000-2001 Serie Nacional, hitting .291/.371/.438 with 28 doubles, a rookie record and tied for the most in the lead. In 2001-2002, he hit .309/.396/.467. He played for Cuba in the 2002 World University Championship, helping them win Gold; he hit .250/.267/.429 yet made the All-Tournament team in the outfield.
In the 2002-2003 season, the 20-year-old batted .319/.400/.460 with 61 runs in 83 games. Anderson hit .337/.424/.485 in 2003-2004 to finish 17th in the league in average. During the 2004-2005 campaign, the young slugger batted .313/.395/.406. He was 1 for 3 with a walk and four walks in the 2005 Baseball World Cup, backing up Osmani Urrutia, Alexei Ramirez and Carlos Tabares in right field for Cuba. He had a huge season in 2005-2006, with a batting line of .363/.438/.574, 15 home runs, 67 runs and 62 RBI in 88 games. He was 5th in the league in average and among the leaders in other departments.
His fine 2005-2006 season earned him a spot on Cuba's team for the 2006 World Baseball Classic, going 0 for 5 with a walk as a back-up to Ariel Borrero and Joan Carlos Pedroso at first base. Anderson slumped to .301/.393/.410 in 2006-2007.
The Camagüey batsmen bounced back in 2007-2008, with a batting line of .336/.455/.564 with 19 home runs, 66 walks, 69 runs and 63 RBI in 90 games. He was 9th in the circuit in long balls, tied Yoandry Urgellés for 5th in total bases (186) and tied for 4th in walks.
He was on Cuba's roster for the 2009 World Baseball Classic, splitting first base duties with Alexander Mayeta and Joan Carlos Pedroso. Anderson was 2 for 9 with a double, no runs and no RBI in the event.
In 2008-2009, Anderson batted .381/.490/.572. He finished 5th in the batting race behind Michel Enríquez, Yulieski Gourriel, Yorelvis Charles and Giorvis Duvergel. He also won a Gold Glove at first base. He left Cuba following that season.
In 2010, Anderson signed a 4-year, $1.725 million deal with the Tampa Bay Rays; the scout was Carlos Alfonso. He made his US debut with the Charlotte Stone Crabs on May 10, going 0 for 4 against the Lakeland Flying Tigers. He split the season between Charlotte (.262/.303/.405 in 21 G), the Montgomery Biscuits (.304/.382/.475 in 48 G) and the Durham Bulls (.328/.359/.418 in 30 G). In 2011, he hit .277/.314/.413 with 13 homers but only 21 walks as a 1B-LF for Durham.
Despite not having a set position with Durham in 2012 (alternating between 1B, the corner outfield slots and DH), he was an All-Star; he hit .309/.355/.450 with 14 home runs. He hit second and started in RF for the International League in the 2012 AAA All-Star Game. He singled off Graham Godfrey in the first, grounded out versus Ryan Verdugo in the 3rd and singled against Tom Koehler in the 5th. In the 6th, Starling Marte replaced him in the lineup and Corey Brown his spot in RF. The IL lost as Anderson's teammates only had three hits. He was third in the 2012 IL in average behind Jose Constanza and Mauro Gomez. He joined Marte and Brown as the IL All-Star outfielders. Tampa Bay did not call him up despite that success.
In the same role with Durham in 2013, the veteran produced at a .292/.372/.459 clip with 28 doubles, 14 home runs and 74 RBI; his walk total jumped to 50 after 47 in 2011 and 2012 combined. He finished 6th in the 2013 IL in RBI and just missed the top 10 in average and OBP. He signed with Japan's Yomiuri Giants for 2014. Starting in left field and hitting 7th on Opening Day, he singled off Atsushi Nohmi in his first at-bat in NPB and homered off Naoto Tsuru in the 6th.
- 2005 and 2008 Baseball Almanacs
- Cuban Institute of Sports, Physical Education and Recreation
- Cuban roster for 2006 WBC
- Japanese Wikipedia entry
- Defunct IBAF site
- World Baseball Classic
- 2013 Rays Media Guide
- 2012 AAA All-Star Game