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Anderson on hot start: 'I’m doing my homework'

Renteria wants to see consistency from Jimenez
@ladsonbill24
April 14, 2019

NEW YORK -- White Sox shortstop Tim Anderson is off to the best start of his Major League career. Entering Sunday’s action against the Yankees, Anderson led the American League in batting average (.444) and was fourth in the league in OPS (1.079). Then, he started the scoring for the

NEW YORK -- White Sox shortstop Tim Anderson is off to the best start of his Major League career. Entering Sunday’s action against the Yankees, Anderson led the American League in batting average (.444) and was fourth in the league in OPS (1.079). Then, he started the scoring for the White Sox in Sunday's 5-2 win with a grand slam off Yankees starter Masahiro Tanaka.

The reason for the fast start, he says, is his increased maturity compared to when he entered the league in 2016. Now, Anderson studies the scouting reports and looks at a lot of film to help his approach at the plate.

“I’m learning the game a lot more. I’m doing my homework,” Anderson said. “I’m really studying the game. I’m putting a lot into the game -- more so than I was. I’m breaking down a lot more things. I’m getting deep into things a lot more so than just going out and playing."

Manager Rick Renteria believes Anderson has also improved defensively. When Anderson first entered the league, he wasn’t consistent making back-handed plays. That’s a different story today, according to the skipper.

“Now he has shown a little bit of a [Derek] Jeter-ish type of play many times the last couple of years where he goes in the hole -- deep, almost shallow left field -- and making the play across the diamond,” Renteria said. “He works very hard at his defense. … He has certainly been taking advantage of every opportunity to put himself in a good place in the game of baseball.”

Consistency from Jimenez
After Eloy Jiménez belted the first two homers of his career on Friday against the Yankees, Renteria didn’t seem all that excited about what he saw by the No. 3 prospect in all of baseball. Renteria was matter of fact about it; he said he was happy for the rookie, but wants to see Jimenez have stability at the plate.

“We talk about who our players are [and] what we think they are going to be,” Renteria said. “So many times, people get giddy when they start to see validations on what you project they might potentially be. If I think he is going to be what he is going to be, there is nothing for me to be overly excited about. I’ll be more excited about the consistency in that player over an extended period of time.

“Talk to me in two months, three months, four months. We’ll see where we’re at with him and see how he is doing and see how he is developing. Do I expect him to have some bumps and bruises? Absolutely. Do I think he will be a fantastic hitter at the Major League level? Yeah. But I’m looking for consistency. That’s the biggest key. … My giddiness will come when we put a new crown on that door as a champion. That’s the goal.”

Bill Ladson has been a reporter for MLB.com since 2002. He covered the Nationals/Expos from 2002-2016. Follow him on Twitter and Facebook.