Tuesday night was not a fun night for any Chicago White Sox fan as they watched their team get clobbered by the current AL Central division-leading Minnesota Twins by a score of 14-4.
Despite that, though, a young rising star emerged through the dark clouds in Tim Anderson, who is in the midst of a career year. It’s a reminder that this team is still not very far away from contending.
Anderson, 26, went 2-for-4 with a home run, double, and two RBI at Target Field, raising his slash line to .331/.354/.504 to go along with 13 homers, 44 RBI, and 16 stolen bases.
As noted by FanGraphs, Anderson’s fWAR is already the highest it has ever been at 2.6.
On top of it, his wRC+ also stood at a career-best of 127, which is 29 points higher than his previous career-best of 98 in 2016 which was his rookie season.
While regression is always possible, Anderson’s improved strikeout rate which has gone down from 26.7% in 2017 to 24.6% in 2018 and now down to 20.1%, suggests that the former top prospect has learned to become a much more disciplined hitter.
Another impressive aspect of Anderson’s improvement this season is that his pull rate has gone down to 34.4%, with him hitting the ball to center field the most at 37.2%. He has even used right field to his advantage 28.4% of the time.
The right-handed hitter’s ability to use all fields to his advantage has helped him transform his hitting approach into a complete one, as it becomes tougher to shift on him as well as it makes it harder to pitch to him, knowing he is willing to use whatever pitch you throw to him to his own advantage.
Anderson can punch it out to right field if it’s on the outside corner, but also has no issues pulling a pitch down the middle or hitting it to dead-center.
If Anderson’s improvements are here to stay, the Chicago White Sox have a budding star on their hands entering his prime possibly at just the right time.
With Nick Madrigal and Luis Robert waiting in Triple-A for a callup and Eloy Jimenez, Yoan Moncada, and Anderson at the major-league level, the Chicago White Sox undeniably have one of the more impressive position-player cores in the making.