CHICAGO (670 The Score) – White Sox shortstop Tim Anderson has never much cared for what other individuals think about him. He has instead kept his focus more internal.
“Some people have always overlooked me,” Anderson said. “Just to see that route I took and where I am now, I work hard at my job, man. Each and every day I go out and try to get better. I think it is showing. The respect follows as well. I have never been the type of person to try and please other people. I always try to make myself happy. I have been making myself happy the last two years, so I don't really care about what anyone else thinks.”
The respect that Anderson referenced is certainly following now. He’s the leader of the American League-leading White Sox (31-16) and drawing MVP consideration in his best season yet. After winning the AL batting crown last season, Anderson is hitting .369 with seven homers, 18 RBIs, 39 runs and a .994 OPS in 37 games. Anderson leads the AL in batting average and is tied for first in runs.
On Monday evening, Anderson stepped up in a big game. His stretched-out stop of a sharp grounder held Josh Donaldson to an infield single and saved a run in the sixth inning, and he added an insurance run with an RBI double in the eighth inning of the White Sox’s 3-1 win against the Twins. With the victory, Chicago extended its AL Central lead to two games over Minnesota.
"These are the moments you want to be in,” Anderson said. “This is playoff ball now. It’s all about who wants it (more.) We are going out and compete. We have been playing really well, so we go out and hopefully beat a pretty good ballclub.”
Anderson has improved defensively after working on his footwork and body control while making routine plays at shortstop. He has always been athletically gifted and good at getting to balls side to side. Now he’s more consistent with the north-south plays too. His 26 errors in 2019 were the most in MLB. He has five in 37 games this season.
"You must give Timmy and (infield coach Joe McEwing) the credit,” manager Rick Renteria said. “They have worked and had numerous conversations about the position and many things. Timmy ultimately gets the credit. He is driven to being the best. You guys have watched it and now he has done everything he can to become a very capable shortstop at the major league level. He is beyond capable. He is excellent. He is doing some really nice things out there. When you looked at him a few years ago, there were some intangibles in this young man's makeup that made you believe he would become what we see today.”
Anderson is just happy his hard work is paying off.
"You guys (the media) see the work and get the reports," Anderson said. "You have to understand what I am doing is being obsessed with getting better. I take a lot of pride in my work. I put everything on the line to get better each and every day.”
Bruce Levine covers the Cubs and White Sox for 670 The Score. Follow him on Twitter @MLBBruceLevine.