White Sox No. 1 prospect is an Alabama native who didn’t even play baseball until his junior year
Baseball Prospectus has named Hillcrest High School (Tuscaloosa) graduate Tim Anderson the No. 1 prospect in the entire Chicago White Sox organization, topping even vaunted pitching prospect Carlos Rodon, who the Sox drafted in the first round (third overall) in last year’s draft.
That’s an impressive feet under any circumstances, but even more impressive considering Anderson, a shortstop, wasn’t even playing baseball just five short years ago.
Anderson was a standout on the basketball court for Hillcrest before starring on the baseball field, even leading the school to a state championship on the hardwood.
“You could just tell that if he’d ever just concentrate on one thing… that the sky would be the limit for him,” Hillcrest baseball coach Todd Agee told WTOK.
Injuries on the basketball court compelled Anderson to narrow his focus to baseball before going to college. He received exactly one scholarship offer — to East Central Community College in Decatur, Mississippi, which he accepted.
It didn’t take long for him to catch the attention of scouts. Anderson led the nation with an eye-popping .495 batting average and 62 runs scored. He was second in the country with 41 stolen bases, and added ten home runs, 18 doubles and 11 triples for good measure.
Next thing you know, a 20-year-old who hadn’t even been playing baseball a few years before was being drafted in the first round of the 2013 MLB draft and receiving a $2.2 million signing bonus.
He made his professional debut with the Kannapolis Intimidators of the Class A South Atlantic League. He was quickly promoted and started the 2014 season with the Winston-Salem Dash of the Class A-Advanced Carolina League, hitting just under .300 in 68 games before suffering a set back with a broken wrist. Anderson returned a couple of months later and was immediately promoted to the Birmingham Barons in the Class AA Southern League, and he wasted no time making a splash in his home state professional debut.
Another hit for Tim Anderson, this time a double! He's now 3-for-3 in his Double-A debut for the Barons.
— Birmingham Barons (@BhamBarons) August 23, 2014
Tim Anderson hits his 1st AA home run, a solo shot in the top of the 3rd! He's now 2-for-2 tonight and hitting .526 (10-for-19) in 5 games.
— Birmingham Barons (@BhamBarons) August 27, 2014
According to Comcast Sports Chicago, Anderson’s major league ETA is “late 2016 or early 2017.”
“He’ll probably need nearly a full year of plate appearances at Double-A before moving to Triple-A, where he’ll need to see a good number of plate appearances as well,” said Comcast Sports’ JJ Stankevitz.
The White Sox’ current shortstop Alexei Ramírez is under contract for two more seasons, after which the team has a $10 million option with a $1 million buyout, “so if he sticks around that long it could put Anderson in the majors to begin the 2017 season, if all goes well,” said Stankevitz.
Alabama will have a chance to watch Anderson in action when the Barons open their season in Birmingham with a 5-game home stand beginning April 9. But they better do it quick at the rate he is shooting up through the White Sox organization.
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— Cliff Sims (@Cliff_Sims) December 3, 2014