Let’s take a trip around the AL Central, beginning with the White Sox young shortstop, Tim Anderson.
For about the last four weeks, Tim Anderson has acquitted himself fairly well to major league pitching. He’s hitting .300 with 12 extra base-hits and he’s produced a respectable .490 slugging percentage. He’s been a nice upgrade defensively since replacing Jimmy Rollins at shortstop and according to Baseball Reference, he’s been worth just north of one win over his 22 game stay in the majors. There’s no question that the White Sox made the appropriate move.
Now comes the yang of this piece. Or would it be the yin? Anyway, the point here is this: Anderson has drawn exactly one walk as a major league player. That’s not ideal. One thing I haven’t mentioned yet is that Anderson has served as the White Sox leadoff hitter for the better part of the least few weeks. You see, a 33/1 K/BB ratio isn’t going to draw comparisons to Tony Gwynn anytime soon. He’s drawn just one free pass in 102 plate appearances. In fact, most players that exhibit that shallow of plate discipline usually find themselves headed back to Triple-A to work out some mechanical issues.
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What makes Anderson the exception here is that he’s being very productive at the plate without the help of drawing the occasional free pass. He’s managed to slash .314/. 322/.512 since joining the club on June 10th and he’s accomplished that while dealing with a 16.4% SwrStr rate – which means he’s whiffing just a tad under once every five pitches. So yes, he’s off to a remarkable start.
How long can he keep this level of productivity up? Well, that’s going to require a type of wait and see approach over the next month or so. By that time we should be able to see any correction that might occur. The fact that he was able to hit .300 with 12 extra-base hits, while putting up a 32.4% strikeout rate is nothing short of astonishing. It’s unlikely he’ll be able to sustain these type of numbers on contact alone and if he begins to regress, how will that affect his already average .307 OBP? That’s an important question when dealing with a leadoff hitter. Until then, White Sox fans can enjoy the new addition to their ball club and cross their fingers that his lack of discipline and patience doesn’t impede their attempt to climb back into the playoff chase.
Around the AL Central:
- Even after the 17-1 beat down they absorbed from the Blue Jays, the Indians still own a +76 run differential, which happens to be the best in the American League.
- Danny Salazar has won his last six decisions and eight of his last nine.
- Toledo Mud Hens shortstop Dixon Machado has been named the International Player of the week.
- According to Brad Ausmus, the Tigers are going unconventional and employing an 8-man bullpen for the foreseeable future. Details here.
- According to @EliasSports, Kendrys Morales last 8 games of .613, 6 HR & 13 RBI makes him the first player with .600/6 HR/ 10 RBI in an 8 game span since Barry Bonds in 2004.
- The Tigers completed their first four-game road sweep in three years after they closed out the Rays 5-1 on Sunday.
- Trevor Plouffe admits that he’s been playing at “60 or 70%” for most of the year with various injuries.
- Jose Berrios was named International League Pitcher of the Week.