Anderson making a home at shortstop
Top prospect continues to remove doubt about ability to play position
CHICAGO -- There was talk when Tim Anderson was selected by the White Sox with the 17th pick of the 2013 Draft as to whether the talented young player really would stick at shortstop.
Over the past three years in the White Sox system, Anderson has proven he belongs up the middle defensively, along with his myriad offensive accomplishments.
"He has," said White Sox general manager Rick Hahn, when asked Monday if the White Sox top prospect, per MLB.com, has improved defensively. "A lot of sort of the outside analysis outside the organization, I'll leave it at that, when we drafted the player, 'I don't know if this guy's is going to stay at shortstop' was sort of the conventional wisdom.
"That changed after about a year to, 'He hasn't shown my anything that says he can't be at shortstop.' And now in the last year, that's now changed to, 'This guy can stay at shortstop.' That's a testament to the kid's athleticism and the repetitions and his instructions and his ability to adapt. We view him as a shortstop, and I think most of the industry does as well."
Anderson, 22, carries a .308 average with three homers and 39 RBIs for Double-A Birmingham. The right-handed hitter also has 45 stolen bases and 18 doubles and 10 triples among his 132 hits.
The White Sox hold a $10 million option on incumbent shortstop Alexei Ramirez for the '16 season, a campaign where Anderson most likely won't break camp with the team. But it sounds as if Anderson's Major League time is not too far removed from the outset of '16.
"He's having a great year on a good team. Let him play out through that experience and sort of finish what he's started," Hahn said. "He's a kid coming out of junior college and having played mostly basketball for the few years prior to the couple of years leading up to the Draft that repetition was going to be important for him. He was a guy we expected to make a stop in all probability at each level, and there likely was going to be some acclimation at each level before he fulfilled his potential.
"It's not fair to say we are going to see him here on this date because, again, he's still got a little ways to go and a few areas of his game to iron out. In terms of him meeting that potential thus far in his career, he's absolutely done that."