Shortstop Tim Anderson was the Chicago White Sox first round pick in 2013. In three minor league seasons with the organization, he has shown nothing but promise.
He is already a two-time minor league all-star. In fact, this season he was named the Southern League All-Star game MVP after going 2-3 with a double, triple, RBI and a run scored.
Coming into today, Anderson is leading the Southern League in hits and stolen bases. He is also fourth in runs and sixth in batting average.
He is currently hitting .311/.339/.408 with two home runs, 35 RBIs, 35 runs, 113 hits and he is 35-43 in stolen bases. He has been the best player in the White Sox minor league system all season.
It is his second straight season of hitting over .300. Anderson is also the reason we will not see Alexei Ramirez in a White Sox uniform beyond 2015.
Jul 18, 2015; Chicago, IL, USA; Chicago White Sox shortstop Alexei Ramirez (10) hits an RBI sacrifice fly during the fifth inning against the Kansas City Royals at U.S Cellular Field. Mandatory Credit: Dennis Wierzbicki-USA TODAY Sports
Even with the subpar numbers Ramirez has put up this season (.224/.251/.297), the writing was on the wall long before Spring Training. He is being paid $10 million this season and has a team option for another $10 million next season. In declining that option, you pave the way for Anderson to take over in 2016.
That was the original plan.
Since Anderson is playing so well, I can’t help but feel like there is a chance he gets promoted from Double-A Birmingham straight to the majors. Skipping Triple-A would not be a wise decision.
We have seen a few teams around the league go this route but the circumstances are not the same as the White Sox. In hopes to better their chances of contending, the Houston Astros, Texas Rangers and Minnesota Twins all called up top prospects from Double-A to the show and the results have been mixed.
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Carlos Correa has made an immediate impact and looks like the next Alex Rodriguez for the Astros. Joey Gallo had one hell of a debut for the Rangers at the expense of the White Sox but two weeks later, was hovering around the Mendoza line.
Byron Buxton struggled to hit baseballs but managed to the hit the disabled list for the Twins. Miguel Sano is also now up from Double-A for the Twins and in 14 games, hasn’t look overmatched by big league pitching.
With the White Sox going nowhere this season, it doesn’t seem wise to risk Anderson’s future by rushing him up to the big leagues. He still strikes out too much the plate and doesn’t walk at all.
Over the last two seasons, Anderson has 161 strikeouts and 24 walks in 170 games.
While he is also much improved defensively (34 errors in 81 games in 2014 vs 17 errors in 86 games this season), he still could use more work in the field.
This is why now is the perfect time to promote him to Triple-A Charlotte.
Tyler Saladino served as the Charlotte Knights’ shortstop before being called-up to the majors two weeks ago. With him out of the picture, Anderson can take the reigns at short, see the next level of pitching and show the White Sox if he is truly ready for the majors.
If the White Sox can find a taker for Ramirez before the trade deadline, the most logical corresponding roster move would be the return of Micah Johnson. This would give Anderson the chance to finish the year in Triple-A and get himself prepared for a major league debut in 2016.
With the White Sox terrible track record of developing position players, it is important that they do everything they can to make Anderson can be successful.