Anderson displays development, all-around game

Rookie collects 3 hits, draws first walk in 19th game, makes dazzling play at short

Anderson displays development, all-around game

CHICAGO -- Tim Anderson had a busy afternoon during a 6-5 White Sox victory over the Twins on Thursday afternoon at U.S. Cellular Field.

The rookie knocked out three singles, extending his hitting streak to seven games and picking up his 10th multihit effort in 19 big league games. He also took a hit away from Trevor Plouffe in the second, ranging into short left field to glove the grounder and making a perfect one-hop throw to first baseman Jose Abreu to nail Plouffe by two steps.

But Thursday's latest, greatest highlight for one of the White Sox top young talents came in the fourth when Anderson drew the first walk of his career in his 86th plate appearance overall. Anderson clapped when he reached first base, pointed at his teammates in the dugout and then pumped his fists in celebration.

Anderson also received a little playful teasing from at least one teammate.

"[Todd] Frazier was like, 'We got the bat, we got the pitcher, we got the umpire, we got everything,'" said Anderson with a laugh. "It was pretty funny.

"I was pretty pumped about it. A very exciting moment for me. It was kind of like when I got my first hit. It was fun."

Patience at the plate hasn't been a trademark of Anderson's offensive game as he worked through the White Sox system. But the South Siders will take the aggressiveness on offense, along with the rest of his high-end skill-set, as one of the first homegrown difference makers to arrive in quite some time.

One original knock against Anderson was his ability to handle shortstop defensively on a full-time basis. He has silenced those doubters with each year that has passed since his selection at No. 17 overall in the 2013 MLB Draft.

Anderson's great jump-throw

There was also Anderson's lack of baseball experience coming into the organization, having split time growing up as a basketball player. But there's no doubting Anderson's instincts after watching him for an inning or two.

"I've been impressed with Timmy," White Sox manager Robin Ventura said. "I don't think he was necessarily ready right out of Spring Training, but this is a different kid. He's a lot like Trayce [Thompson], when we saw Trayce in Spring Training [2015] and then when we saw him again when he came up."

"With Timmy doing what he's doing, it's nice to watch," Frazier said. "I was telling [bench coach] Rick Renteria in the dugout, he doesn't change one bit whether he's bad or good. That's the sign of a really great athlete."

It's also the sign of a 23-year-old ready to handle the ups and downs of Major League Baseball. The focus placed upon a lack of walks to start his career ended up amusing Anderson more than really bothering him, as an example.

In fact, Anderson joked postgame about home-plate umpire Chris Conroy "letting him down" in the eighth when he called a borderline 3-2 pitch as strike three and prevented a second Anderson free pass.

"More walks will come as I grow and mature," Anderson said. "Just work on my overall game and become a better hitter. I had great at-bats today, and that's something I've been stressing on to have ... better at-bats."

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.