Josh Bell went oppo for a first-inning, two-run blast to open up the scoring in the Padres 7-1, Friday night Wildcard win at the Mets.
As shortstop Tim Anderson goes, so do the White Sox.
Once considered a raw power-hitting prospect with all the tools but lacking experience, Anderson has blossomed into one of the best pure hitters in baseball. He’s currently on an 11-game hitting streak and is batting .316. In fact, he’s hit in 22 of his last 25 games.
The rise of Tim Anderson as a face of baseball comes at a time where Black fans are longing for a reason to get back into the game. Tim has embraced that challenge, and the South Side of Chicago all in the same breathe.
“Every corner, you’re going to see a White Sox hat,” said Anderson. “I’m here to change the game. I’m here to show these kids that it’s OK, baseball’s cool, and you can play it.”
— MLBbro.com (@MLBbrodotcom) May 14, 2021
Since Opening Day, the Chicago White Sox have been one of the most discussed teams in the MLB. After years of rebuilding, Chicago is loaded with talent and poised to challenge for the American League pennant.
The White Sox have the 5th-best hitting and pitching squads in baseball. They also have a former batting champion and consistent party starter in Anderson and a Hall of Fame manager (Tony La Russa) who was called back into action to lead this squad to glory.
But even with a roster loaded with 2020 AL MVP Jose Abreu and Cy Young contender Lucas Giolito, TA is one name that fans keep in mind when monitoring the success of these White Sox.
And no, it’s not simply because of the bat-flips.
Over the past two seasons, the 2019 batting title winner has blossomed into one of the best pure hitters in baseball, and his charisma, talent, and emotion have had a drastic impact on the success of the White Sox.
“I want to be the best, so I practice like it, and I think like it,” Anderson told the Chicago Sun-Times. “Confidence is always at an all-time high. I never lose. A guy might strike me out, but I got myself out. He didn’t get me out.”
Anderson’s swagger has been infectious, and as a result, the White Sox always look like a completely different team with him in the lineup.
On Saturday he swagged out his cleats in a Laker’s color scheme in honor of the late Kobe Bryant’s Hall of Fame induction.
— MLBbro.com (@MLBbrodotcom) May 16, 2021
The power he was originally known for is still there, but his approach at the plate has evolved. He can hurt opponents in a multiplicity of ways.
His ultra-aggressive hitting style is complemented by his silky smooth base running, as Anderson is currently 4th in the MLB in stolen bases. Let’s not forget his lethal glove.
Since his return from the IL on Jackie Robinson Day, the White Sox are in first place in the AL Central and one of just two teams with a winning percentage greater than .600. A team that once looked lost offensively has rebounded to have the highest run differential in all of baseball.
He continues to walk the walk and contribute to the culture and future of the game.