GLENDALE, Ariz. – There are not many players like him on the White Sox roster, and it’s not only because of his extraordinary talent on the field.
Tim Anderson has the distinction of being only one of four athletes on the team’s roster (Jose Abreu, Leury Garcia, Carlos Rodon) that were at the major league level before the White Sox began their rebuild in the winter of 2016 and stayed with the team the entire time.
Adam Eaton was on the 2016 squad before being traded to the Nationals in December of that year.
The young shortstop was just a promising rookie then as one of the best prospects in a farm system that was just about to get a major overhaul over the coming years. During the past two seasons, he’s emerged as one of the best at his position in the game and is a reason the White Sox have championship hopes for the 2021 season.
“Just to see the guys that we have in the clubhouse and see the guys that we added. We’re serious. We’re dead serious,” said Anderson when asked about the difference in walking into Camelback Ranch to start spring training this year as opposed to the past. “Couldn’t be more proud to be in the mix of it and I’ve gonna give everything I’ve got to try to deliver something that’s really cool, really dope, something that you could cherish for life.”
That could be done both as a team and personally for Anderson, who has made his case for American League Most Valuable Player the last two seasons. He led the AL in hitting with a .335 average in 2019, and followed that up with a strong performance in the shortened 60-game 2020 season.
Despite missing time with a groin injury, the shortstop hit .322 with 10 homers and 21 RBI in 49 games. Yet added personal and team expectations have not changed Anderson’s approach to his work in 2021, stressing the need for consistently strong efforts in order to reach his goals.
“Continue to keep proving why I’m the best shortstop in the game, continue to keep leading these guys in the right direction, and be ready everytime I step on the field, come to play every single day,” said Anderson when asked of his goals for 2021. “I don’t know too many guys that’s going out there and giving you something every single day, and that’s my goal.
“To go out and play hard every day and see what happens. I’m still in the same mind frame as last year. Continue to keep being dominant.”
If he is, the work that he began in 2016 to help build the White Sox into a power could pay off.