Anderson emerges better during tough year

White Sox shortstop grateful for support after loss of friend

Anderson emerges better during tough year

CHICAGO -- Tim Anderson has endured one of the toughest seasons of his life on a personal level, a situation the 24-year-old wouldn't want to go through again, after the tragic loss of his friend Branden Moss back in early May.

But the White Sox shortstop also understands these struggles from 2017 will make him a better player and person in the future.

"You have to keep going, man," Anderson told MLB.com. "Don't feel sorry for yourself. Things tend to happen. Everything happens for a reason. So you just have to keep pushing and know what the ultimate goal is to get better each and every day."

"Nobody knows when you're going through a difficult time how it's going to truly impact you," White Sox manager Rick Renteria said. "Obviously, it was a significant time in his life in terms of the experience of a loss of a friend, a very, very close friend. And he got through it."

Anderson praised Renteria for his direct help, mentioning a number of one-on-ones they had, simply to talk about life. Anderson also received help from the White Sox as a whole, his family and Moss' family to deal with the loss of someone who was like a brother to him. But it was Anderson who was proactive in going through counseling to deal with the pain.

In being open about these tough times through the media and his Twitter account, Anderson and his personal struggles have resonated with others.

"Just from feedback on Twitter, people reached out and said thanks for being honest and being you. It definitely impacts some people," Anderson said. "I learned so much from this season, as in I feel like it made me a better person and a better player and a better teammate. It's definitely one I will remember."

"He's reconnected with his teammates very well," Renteria said. "But they all knew who he was. To me, it's who he was ... before this whole episode that occurred with him, and everybody's starting to enjoy him again because he's starting to see the light at the end of the tunnel. As a teammate, as a friend and as a player, he's starting to go out there and do what he's been capable of doing."

Over 49 games since Aug. 2, Anderson has produced a .312 average. His 17 homers and 55 RBIs overall are career highs, and Anderson had a career-best 15-game hitting streak and an 18-game errorless streak both end this past week.

Anderson's solo homer

This strong finish represents a big sign for Anderson, a staple of the White Sox rebuild who now can think of hitting future career ceilings after entering September with a .241 average.

"I definitely see myself as an All-Star, and there are many more goals I have in mind," Anderson said. "I just think about this year, how if that's struggling, I'm OK with it.

"When I'm not struggling, if you take the numbers now that I have with struggling and I'm not struggling, then the sky is the limit. I think about what we have a chance to do here, and I'm excited about it and definitely happy to be a part of it."

Scott Merkin has covered the White Sox for MLB.com 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.