White Sox cite Jeter as a model for Anderson

May 17th, 2016

CHICAGO -- The White Sox want Tim Anderson to be like Derek Jeter.

Not necessarily matching Jeter's unbelievable career production, although the organization certainly wouldn't argue if Anderson became a Hall of Fame shortstop who participates in five World Series championships. The White Sox are talking about similar styles of preparation for their No. 2 prospect, as ranked by MLBPipeline.com.

"You don't like to compare anybody to Jeter, because he's one of the greatest players of all time," White Sox assistant general manager Buddy Bell said. "But Jeter came to the ballpark with a standard that everybody else had to play up to, and that's what we want out of Anderson.

"He has to set the standard for whoever is on his team. Whether or not he can do that, whether or not he wants to do that, it's entirely up to him. But he's capable of that, I think."

Anderson, 22, certainly has the capabilities to someday excel at the Major League level. After a slow start, his talent is pushing through full force for Triple-A Charlotte. In his last 10 games, he is 22-for-47 with three homers, six RBIs, 13 runs scored, five stolen bases and seven strikeouts. Those statistics helped earn him International League Batter of the Week on Monday and raised his average to .297 following Tuesday's loss.

"I had a national reporter, when we were in Texas, ask me if we were concerned about Tim Anderson's struggles," said general manager Rick Hahn with a smile. "I guess Tim read his mind and has gone off in the last 10 days. Probably put himself back on the prospect map."

"Offensively, he's enjoyable to watch just because he swings a lot. He makes a lot of hard contact," White Sox manager Robin Ventura said. "Most of it is going to be if he can kind of assimilate himself out on the field, get himself pretty comfortable out there. That happened in Spring Training somewhat. There's a ways to go for him to do that, but he was on his way to doing that."

Bell praises Anderson's intense work ethic and competitive nature. Nick Hostetler, the director of amateur scouting who watched Anderson in action at East Central College before Chicago selected him in the first round of the 2013 Draft, praised both Bell and Nick Capra, director of player development, for the plan put in place for Anderson.

They all seem to be in agreement that Anderson needs to play fast, taking advantage of his high-octane skill set.

"That's something we are kind of pushing him on," Bell said. "Sometimes when you are in Triple-A, the game, you start playing that way, and we don't want him to play that way. We want him to play fast all the time. Get on and off the field, run his [behind] off to first. He's doing great."

"A lot of times, it takes him out of that comfort level," Hostetler said. "They are used to playing the game at an intensity level others can't. T.A. can go 100 mph, and that's when he plays his best baseball. He's shown it since we got him: The harder and faster he goes, the better he plays."