White Sox Tim Anderson keeps pushing to higher level of excellence

White Sox Tim Anderson keeps pushing to higher level of excellence

Tim Anderson makes a tough play against the Cincinnati Reds, Wednesday, May 5, 2021. The Reds won 1-0. (AP Photo/Aaron Doster) | AP Photos

In high stakes situations, in those moments where the White Sox really need him, Tim Anderson isn’t going to fail on account of anxiousness or letting the moment overwhelm him.

MINNEAPOLIS — In high stakes situations, in those moments where the White Sox really need him, Tim Anderson isn’t going to fail on account of anxiousness or letting the moment overwhelm him.

His pulse stays the same.

“There’s no pressure,” the White Sox shortstop and leadoff man said Monday. “Those are moments I want to be in, those are moments I like. It’s just having no pressure, you’re always calm in certain situations and at the end of the day it’s baseball. It’s a game.”

Anderson is a man playing a kid’s game like a kid, having fun, chirping encouragement at his teammates, celebrating when it’s warranted.

The game will rarely, if ever be mastered but Anderson at the very least seems to be figuring it out more with each passing season. He studies video of opposing pitchers. He walks up to bat with a plan. He adjusts.

In one situation, he’s taking a fastball to right field for a single. In another, he’s driving a breaking pitch over the left field wall. He took an 11-game hitting streak (.383 during that span) with four extra-base hits and 10 RBI into the Sox’ game against the Twins Monday.

You’ll often hear Anderson say “I have to keep pushing,” which is what he does. He has won a batting title and now he wants to be an All-Star. He has made great plays on the field but now he wants to cut down on the mistakes on the routine plays, and with just one error this season through the Sox’ first 39 games, he’s off to an excellent start there.

“I feel great,” Anderson said. “I’m just at a point where I understand my work and I understand what I’m doing and knowing what guys are trying to do me. It’s just going in the cage and really taking a swing on every pitch I think they’re going to throw me that night. I feel like I know myself, I really understand what I’m capable of doing and I’ve just go to keep going, keep producing.”

Keep pushing.

Anderson was on the field early Monday, taking ground balls. He knows he finished seventh in AL MVP voting last season after hitting .322/.357./529 with an .886 OPS and committing six errors in 49 games. He knows if he becomes a Gold Glove caliber defender, an MVP award becomes much more attainable.

“I’m definitely happy to be where I’m at [defensively],” he said. “I’ve been working my butt off since I got in this organization to prove I could be a shortstop. It doesn’t stop here, I’ve got to continue to work and continue to get better. What you guys see, I’ve been putting the work in. I’ve been putting the work in just to get better defensively and offensively, really at all angles. Now you guys are seeing it.”

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