Tim Anderson has an agenda for White Sox mini-camp this week.
The club’s top prospect wants to prove to the White Sox he’s ready to be their next long-term shortstop.
Anderson — who Baseball America named the team’s No. 1 prospect on Monday — is one of many White Sox minor leaguers at Camelback Ranch in Glendale, Ariz. for the three-day camp. Coming off a fantastic 2015 campaign, Anderson seems to be acutely aware that some observers have wondered whether or not his defense is good enough to be a major league shortstop.
“I feel like I put myself in a good situation coming off that year,” Anderson said on Tuesday. “Just going into spring training and just continue to show them that I can play shortstop, because a lot of people doubted me. So I just want to prove ‘em I can stay there.”
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The 17th pick of the 2013 draft, Anderson hit .312/.350/.429 with 38 extra-base hits and 49 stolen bases at Double-A in 2015, his third consecutive strong season. He’s aggressive and athletic, and club officials have raved about his work ethic.
Anderson has also made strides as a defender, too.
One National League scout said Anderson improved significantly from spring training to the end of the season. The Alabama native impressed the team’s coaching staff last spring when he earned an invite to big league camp.
A year after he committed 34 errors in 684 1/3 innings, Anderson reduced that number to 25 in 939 1/3 innings. He’s improved his footwork and continues to make use of his experience to become a better defender.
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Anderson is expected to again receive an invite to big league camp in 2016. He said his 2015 performance has given him a significant boost in confidence.
Still, Anderson intends to put in the work to silence his critics and this week’s camp is a yet another opportunity.
“Always work on fielding,” Anderson said. “I always feel like I need to work on fielding because that’s the main thing everybody’s focused on. Always need to work on that more.
“It’s always good to get out early and let everybody see you.”