CHICAGO – Tim Anderson won an American League batting title in 2019 at the start of four straight seasons with at least a .300 average.
He has been dubbed the face of the Chicago White Sox and has been viewed as one of the exciting young players among Major League Baseball’s elite core, earning the American League start at shortstop for the ’22 All-Star Game.
“It’s definitely cool. Just to represent where you are from,” Anderson said. “I’m excited about it.
“I’m going to enjoy the moment for sure. I’m definitely going to enjoy the moment to be among some of the greats in the game. I’m definitely going to soak that up and also learn from it. Ask as many questions as I can and see how guys go about their business and watch. More so there for the experience and to win as well.”
Although rosters won’t be finalized until later this winter, Anderson is expected to play for a talent-laden Team USA. The shortstop will potentially be joined by fellow frontline players such as ’22 National League Most Valuable Player Paul Goldschmidt, past MVPs such as Mookie Betts and Mike Trout and intra-divisional standout Bobby Witt Jr. from Kansas City. So, the White Sox shortstop’s quest to gain baseball knowledge and for World Baseball Classic success are understandable on both levels.
After being approached about the World Baseball Classic during All-Star festivities in Los Angeles, marking Anderson’s second straight All-Star appearance, he expressed an interest if the opportunity presented itself.
“I definitely wanted to be a part of it for sure,” Anderson said. “That’s really the biggest [thing]. You are representing the United States but also you know, think about how many people would like to be a part of it that plays in the big leagues.
“For me to be right in the mix of it is another cool thing that I would accomplish. It’s on the list as well. For them to come to me, they saw something cool [in my game]. I definitely was excited about it and I’m all in.”
Since ’19, Anderson has hit .318 overall with 51 home runs, 85 doubles and 53 stolen bases. His ’22 season ended on Aug. 6 in Texas when a checked swing at the plate eventually required surgery to repair a sagittal band tear on the middle finger of his left hand.
Good health does not seem to be an offseason issue for Anderson, who has shared a few of his intense-looking workouts through social media. Eloy Jiménez (Dominican Republic), Yoán Moncada and Luis Robert (Cuba) reportedly are on the preliminary World Baseball Classic rosters for their respective countries, giving the White Sox four players who all dealt with significant injuries in ’22 having to ramp up a little early for high-level competition in March.
That situation didn’t seem to cause worry for Anderson.
“The biggest thing this offseason is to continue to try to get stronger and take care of the body,” Anderson said. “But it shouldn’t change anything.”