It is easy to see that the White Sox shortstop Tim Anderson has been taking his game to the next level.
Sadly, the White Sox will be without his bat as he injured his ankle in a collision with Nicky Delmonico during Tuesday’s game against the Yankees.
The Sox consider him to be day-to-day, due to his bruised left ankle. Jose Rondon took his place at shortstop in Wednesday’s game against the Yankees.
According to Scott Merkin with MLB.com, Anderson took on a challenge from bench coach Joe McEwing six weeks ago. This challenge involved taking his game to the next level. And, Anderson has taken on the challenge. McEwing told Merkin:
"“I couldn’t be happier for him. I couldn’t be prouder of him. He’s learning so much about himself. But he’s just going out there and playing. He’s not playing to make a mistake. He’s playing without one ounce of fear right now. He’s playing with total confidence.”"
Along with more confidence on defense, Anderson has improved at the plate. In fact, in August, Anderson is batting .268/.294/.485. Of his 26 hits in August, 14 have been extra-base hits, including one triple and three home runs. He actually had a six-game hitting streak that lasted from August 22 to 27.
For comparison, in July, he hit .247/.311/.361 with 20 hits, five doubles, and one home run. In June, Anderson batted .247/.311/.361 with 24 hits including six extra-base hits. In May, he hit .227/.306/.500 with 20 hits, two doubles, and seven home runs. And, in April, he hit .267/.306/.436 with 27 hits, four extra-base hits, and four home runs.
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Anderson is actually on track to hit 20 home runs and to have 20 stolen bases. This, according to Menken, would be a first for a White Sox shortstop. In the MLB, the shortstop position is loaded with talent and Anderson has the sixth most home runs in the league. Manny Machado is leading the list of shortstops with 31 home runs. Anderson has 17.
But, when it comes to stolen bases, Anderson is at the top of the American League pile with 25. Trea Turner leads the MLB with 33, but after Anderson, the next closest AL player is Jean Segura with 20.
Interestingly, Anderson is in 70th place in all-time White Sox stolen bases. Considering that he has only played with the White Sox since 2016, that is notable. With three more stolen bases, he will pass Sammy Sosa.
For perspective, over 1700 men have been on White Sox rosters over the years and many, many of them have not stolen any bases at all. But, Anderson will only rise on the list and continue to cement himself as one of the better shortstops in the lengthy White Sox history.
Anderson continues to be a player to watch. Hopefully, he will return to the lineup quickly as the team benefits from his above-average defensive range and his speedy feet on the bases.