"Either ride with us or get run over."
Tim Anderson gave the 2019 White Sox a sort of catchphrase in the early days of spring training, and he's sounding like a blossoming leader on the South Side.
Anderson was one of the brightest spots for the White Sox during their 100-loss campaign last season, specifically with the glove, where the guy who made 28 errors in 2017 turned into a human highlight reel at shortstop. He also had himself a 20-20 season, with 20 homers and 26 stolen bases.
It was a positive campaign for Anderson, but like many of his teammates, he's still got some things to prove to make himself a no-doubt building block of the future for a team looking to make the transition from rebuilding to contending in the next couple seasons. Anderson slashed just .240/.281/.406 in 2018, with 149 strikeouts and only 30 walks. Those numbers need to get better.
But if Anderson can keep improving defensively and offensively, he'll make himself an anchor of this rebuilding effort. And the increased talk, sparked by the team's pursuit of Manny Machado, who many fans were willing to hand the shortstop position to, could make him a leader of that transition.
As for this season, Anderson could strengthen the bottom of the White Sox batting order, keeping the train moving after Jon Jay, Yoan Moncada, Jose Abreu, Yonder Alonso and Eloy Jimenez get things going at the top. And being a reliable glove on the left side of the infield could be big as Moncada settles in to his new position at third base.
It seems like it's always a big year for Anderson, and 2019 will be no different. He's confident about it, though, as always. So "either ride with us or get run over."Click here to download the new MyTeams App by NBC Sports! Receive comprehensive coverage of your teams and stream the White Sox easily on your device.