White Sox: Can Tim Anderson bounce back from a poor season?

CHICAGO, IL - AUGUST 13: Tim Anderson
CHICAGO, IL - AUGUST 13: Tim Anderson /

After Tim Anderson’s strong rookie season, fans expected a strong follow-up, however, he did not deliver. Now, he expects to bounce back.

Long before White Sox fans were excited to see prospects like Lucas Giolito, Yoan Moncada, and Michael Kopech in the farm system, they longed for the MLB arrival of shortstop sensation Tim Anderson.

After two years in the big leagues, fans are contempt with his performance. Considering the hype, however, there is a disappointment in the now 24-year-old.

In his rookie year, Anderson hit a .283/.306/.432 slash. Though disappointed in his 13 walks in 410 at-bats, fans figured with rookie numbers like that, Anderson could grow into a valuable piece in the coming years. But the sophomore slump struck him.  

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Excited to see more of what he can do, fans were unfortunately left in utter disappointment when he hit a .257/.276/.402 slash; a complete drop in numbers compared to his previous year. What really seemed to be the concern was the fact that he played 45 more games but still achieved the same amount of walks. He only stole five more bases compared to the 10 he legged out the year before. The power was there, however. He hit 17 long balls, six more than the year prior, but the fans were promised a speedy shortstop with slightly-above-average fielding ability and a singles/doubles machine.

On the outside, it seems Anderson’s season took a dip in terms of numbers, but last season, his stat line was not a priority on his mind.

In May, Anderson’s childhood friend Branden Moss died. For the players weekend, Anderson’s jersey read “B. Moss” on the back. Though being a professional athlete, it is hard to imagine anyone capable of playing at their highest performance while mourning the death of their 23-year-old friend. Though he struggled while mourning Moss, he began to heat up at the end of the year.

Despite hitting a fantastic .319 in May, by the end of July, his batting average was a meager .235. It seemed he would have a poor season hitting-wise. But from August through the end of the season, Anderson had 66 hits and hit .339 in September. In September he also had an on-base percentage of .357.

Next: Lucas Giolito make spring training debut

Looking Ahead

During the offseason, Anderson made a goal of having fun this upcoming season. If he can go from hitting .257 to hitting over .280, he will be back on track on his path to eliteness. And hopefully, he’s been working on his patience and learns to walk a little bit more.