Chicago White Sox rookie Tim Anderson was forced to make an early departure after taking a pitch to the left hand in Thursday’s game against the Detroit Tigers.
He was unable to grip a bat Friday but returned to the line up to face the Baltimore Orioles on Saturday after saying his hand was at 95 percent. With his first at bat he smacked a double off the wall, only inches away from leaving the yard for the sixth time of the season. He scored the first run of the game after being knocked in by Melky Cabrera.
Prior to Saturday’s game, Anderson only had one extra base hit throughout his last 14 games and was hitting .230. His aggressiveness in the batters box has sent Anderson back to the dugout on strikes 59 times and led to a on-base percentage of .275 in 47 games. He has been able to knock in 12 RBIs and has an OPS of .681 off of 54 hits so far this season, but until he learns to calm down at the plate and wait on a pitch, Anderson is only going to find limited success with the wood.
“That’s just something that’s going to change as I grow and mature and become a better player. It will click,” Anderson said. “I’ve just been doing the same thing I’ve been doing. I’m an aggressive hitter. I feel if I get a good pitch to hit, I’m going to swing at it.”
While Anderson is a player the White Sox surely see in their future, there’s one big part of his game that really needs to improve.
Anderson walked in his second plate appearance against the Baltimore Orioles on Saturday. But even with that walk, which followed a double in his first plate appearance, Anderson only has three base on balls this season.
That’s just three walks in 215 trips to the plate in 2016.
The 23-year-old has an aggressive approach at the plate, which is fine, and can still have an impact with this team. But if he wants to make the quick jump from role player to star, the patience at the plate has to get better. It will take time and in the end will be worth it for Anderson.
During parts of four different minor league seasons, Anderson was able to build an on-base percentage of .339 and bat .301, causing Ventura to believe his impatience will no longer be an issue once he finally settles into playing in the big leagues.
After all, it’s only his first year on the South Side.