Throughout the World Baseball Classic, White Sox fans have had the pleasure of watching their all-star shortstop, Tim Anderson, play 2nd base for Team USA. Anderson started six games, once at shortstop and five times at second base. Although there have been a few balls that Anderson would probably like back, there still have been plenty of plays that have kept the momentum in the United States’ favor and would be added to a personal highlight reel. Competing with Trea Turner at shortstop and Jeff McNeil at second base, Anderson’s impressive offensive capabilities, as well as satisfactory defensive performance, has made it hard for USA manager Mark DeRosa to take him out of the lineup.
Following the loss to Japan in the championship game, TA7 has gone 6/18 from the plate with a 2B, 3B, 5 RBI, and two walks. On top of his efficiency at the plate, DeRosa has made statements about Anderson and how he has been one of the guys who has been most impressive and has taken a leadership role in the clubhouse. Strong praises considering the talent on USA’s roster.
So it begs the question, with the lack of a true second baseman for this upcoming 2023 White Sox season, would it make sense to shift Tim Anderson from shortstop to second base?
Yes, it would make sense.
It would make sense for Tim Anderson to be moved to play second base because there is much stronger depth at the shortstop position than at second base within the White Sox organization. Sox fans would love to see Anderson start and finish his career on the Southside. However, there is a strong draw for Anderson, specifically from the Los Angeles Dodgers with the season-ending injury of Gavin Lux. If Anderson is able to show he is flexible in positions and can compete at a high level at positions outside of only shortstop, his trade value will rise. Sometimes when a player is moved out of their primary position, their game can take a step back both defensively and offensively because of the stress and distractions of being in a slightly new environment. Seeing that he is having no challenge at the plate while playing out of position during the WBC, there really would not be an immediate concern about the batting champ struggling at the plate. As long as Anderson is not a disaster right away at second base, the defensive skill set would come with time.
The SS depth within the organization primarily consists of Tim Anderson, Elvis Andrus, Leury Garcia, and Colson Montgomery. Andrus is the veteran on the team who realistically will be the starting second baseman, Garcia is a utility man who arguably may be fighting for a position to break camp, and Montgomery is the interesting choice. Drafted in 2021 with the 22nd overall pick, 21-year-old Colson Montgomery is projected to be the next star shortstop for the White Sox. With Anderson now being at the peak of his career being 29 years old, it would not be an absurd idea to try and make Anderson flexible around the infield. No doubt it will still be a bit of time before Montgomery debuts in the show, but Anderson’s flexibility makes sense in order to make room for a very highly touted prospect. Anderson is under contract with the White Sox until 2025, so it can be assumed Montgomery will make his presence known by then. Unless the Sox front office decides to move their top prospect to a new position, it would be reasonable to have Anderson slide over so Montgomery could get reps at the major league level at shortstop. An example of this happening happened just this past season with tenured veteran Miguel Rojas and upcoming star Jazz Chisholm Jr. with the Miami Marlins. There are a lot of ways to go about introducing a prospect to the show, but this is one possible option the White Sox have in their future.
No, it would NOT make sense.
Tim Anderson is the shortstop for the Chicago White Sox. He prides himself on not only being the best shortstop in Chicago but the game. Along with the White Sox fanbase, Anderson feels his talent is slept on by most of the league, and he is not getting the respect he deserves. Ever since making his debut in 2016, Anderson has played with a chip on his shoulder where he is trying to prove to the world that he not only deserves to be where he is but where he is the best at it. With the exit of Jose Abreu this past offseason, it makes Anderson one of the more seasoned veterans on the roster who has not only spent the most time with the White Sox but also has seen all his success with the team.
Anderson is a 2x all-star, 2x silver slugger, a one-time batting champ, and a fan favorite on the Sox. He embodies what it means to be a shortstop in the major leagues, and frankly, it would feel like a slap in the face to ask him to move positions in order for someone else to take the reins. If it ain’t broken, it doesn’t need to be fixed. For the Sox, the shortstop position is not broken and is one of the stronger-filled spots on the field. There is no reason to possibly upset a team leader in both morale and on-field performance by taking him out of his home at shortstop. As mentioned, Elvis Andrus is most likely going to be penciled in as the starting second baseman most days, so there already is an option for second base. Not many people will argue that Andrus is a quality shortstop, but Anderson has had more success in the show in a shorter amount of time. Manager Pedro Grifol, and General Manager, Rick Hahn, would have to be very confident in a decision to move Anderson to second base for seemingly no valid reason. The White Sox are still in a window of competing to win their division and having a serious playoff run. So if Tim Anderson has his most being the captain of the infield, why would anyone want to switch it up?
Logically, it would not make sense to move Tim Anderson to second base.