White Sox shortstop struggled in first half of season, but is starting to turn his season around. What led to his early struggles on the field?
For those who have been watching the White Sox in 2017, second year shortstop Tim Anderson has not lived up to expectations. After a promising rookie campaign last year, Anderson has fallen off considerably both at the plate and in the field forcing some to question if he is ready for prime time. How much has the Sox young shortstop struggled this season? Let’s take a look and find out.
To give a brief snapshot of how severely Anderson has plummeted in this season, there is one stat that stands out above the rest and that’s hits. All that needs to be analyzed is the total number of at bats he had in 2016 (410) compared to this season (409) and you can see he has nearly matched last years’ total already. However, when it comes to base knocks the results are much different, as Anderson compiled 116 last year while he only has 99 in four extra games played (103 to 99).
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Another area where Anderson is struggling would be making contact. This is quite evident when analyzing his 118 strikeouts in 103 games, which equals out to 1.15 times per game. Examining that aspect a tad deeper, it reveals Anderson is fanning 28.9 percent and one out of every 3.47 trips to the plate. On top of that he rarely draws the base on balls (11 all season), meaning he must do one of two things. Swing and miss a lot less, or learn the strike zone better. If Anderson does neither, it will be hard for him to stick around long-term.
Here is the greatest cause of concern for many Sox fans, his play in the field. Anderson has already committed nine more errors in 2017 than last season (23), not to mention his fielding percentage is a major issue. No contending team can have a shortstop with a fielding percentage of .944, considering that shortstop is among the most important positions on the field. If there is a constant among good clubs, it is that they are strong up the middle defensively.
All in all, no one expected Tim Anderson’s development to be linear. Young players have peaks and valleys, especially when they have a person tragedy off the field. Another element to all of this would be the league’s adjusting to him, which was well known heading into 2017. The onus is now on Anderson to adjust back, however the question is will he?
Try to enjoy the remaining games, Sox fans. You might see a few wins!