Anderson learning to hone basestealing skills

Anderson learning to hone basestealing skills

CLEVLEAND -- In eight big league games, Tim Anderson has been able to adjust to the speed of the competition without much issue.

It's actually great, physical speed shown off by the rookie that could prove to be a valuable weapon for the White Sox. But being fast, such as Anderson is, and becoming an accomplished basestealer are two distinct skill sets.

"Just because you're fast doesn't mean you can steal bases," White Sox manager Robin Ventura said. "His first step is as quick as anybody, that's the thing that's going to set him apart from other guys. There are a few guys who are fast and aren't very good basestealers. He just has the instinctual thing.

"He's just a different element for us. You can allow him to steal bases. You can bunt him with [Adam] Eaton there late. He can go get it. It's such a threat you don't have to do some other things when he's on base."

Anderson's running throw

Having a speed element can provide a boost to the White Sox up-and-down offense, especially since Ventura hasn't had Jose Abreu, Todd Frazier and Melky Cabrera on the same hot-hitting track at the same time this season.

"First it was Todd that was hitting some homers and doing pretty good, and then Melky got hot for a while, and now Jose is starting to swing it pretty good," Ventura said. "Really, offensively all the way around, we haven't had it where it has been clicking for an extended period of time.

"You get a frustration level, and you can see it when [Frazier] will swing at a pitch and yell at home plate. That's a guy that knows he's missing pitches. In your head, you can think 'I should have hit that pitch.' You're getting a pitch you know you can hit, and you're not doing it."

Anderson's three-hit game

College World Series memories

Ventura had to be a happy man prior to the start of Saturday's game against the Indians, as his Oklahoma State alma mater claimed a 1-0 victory over UC Santa Barbara in the first game of the 2016 College World Series. Catcher Zack Collins, the White Sox top pick and 10th selection overall in the 2016 MLB Draft, was scheduled to play for the University of Miami in Saturday's nightcap.

Ventura played for the Cowboys from 1986-88, and pushed the school to consecutive CWS appearances in 1986-87.

"It was fun. It was a great experience," Ventura said. "You're 17, 18 years old, and you get a chance to go there. It can only really happen in Omaha.

"It's a special place for college kids and even past people to know it's Omaha. When you get there, it's kind of a hidden gem of a tournament. Any time you get a chance to go there, no matter who's playing, it's fun."

Scott Merkin has covered the White Sox for since 2003. Read his blog, Merk's Works, follow him on Twitter @scottmerkin, on Facebook and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.