White Sox select Tim Anderson with 17th pick

No back flips this time, but the White Sox got another plus athlete at a premium position in the first round.

The White Sox kicked off their 2013 Draft by taking Tim Anderson, a shortstop out of East Central CC in Mississippi.

The Sox have put a premium on athleticism for their early position player picks in recent drafts (Jared Mitchell, Trayce Thompson, Keenyn Walker, Courtney Hawkins). Anderson can join that group after going 17th to the Sox.

His MLB.com scouting report says this about him:

Teams who like premium athletes currently playing premium positions will certainly give Anderson a long look and his stock was rising quickly as the Draft approached. His best tool is his speed and he has plenty of it as a guy who should be a basestealing threat in the future. He makes solid contact, putting the ball in play and letting his legs work for him, even showing some power to the pull side on occasion. He has shown some difficulty hitting the breaking ball. Whether he can stay at shortstop remains to be seen, though he has decent range and a serviceable arm. But teams won’t hesitate to draft him and then move him, a la Billy Hamilton, down the road.

He also played basketball in high school, but focused on baseball in junior college and hit .328 with five home runs in the Jayhawk Summer League last year.

Andrson, who turned 20 in June 23, was ranked the 26th overall prospect by Baseball America.

He came out of nowhere as a prospect. Anderson was not drafted out of high school or after his first year of junior college and didn’t have any Division I offers until after his freshman year. He chose to stay at shortstop with East Central instead of moving to second base for Mississippi State as a sophomore.

Anderson’s speed is his best asset, although he does have good power, which upon first reaction sounds somewhat similar to Jared Mitchell. Obviously Anderson is a shortstop whereas Mitchell was a center fielder when he was drafted. Some scouting reports have mentioned he could move to the outfield if needed.

This year he hit .495 with 18 doubles, 11 triples, 10 homers in 182 at-bats. He also had 17 walks against just 12 strikeouts with 41 stolen bases in 45 attempts. He led NCJAA Division II in batting average, on-base percentage (.568), was second in slugging percentage (.879) and was fifth in stolen bases.

As a freshman he hit .360 with four home runs in 150 at-bats. He was 30/30 in stolen base attempts. Believe it or not he had just two walks, but 15 hit by pitch.

Anderson has a commitment to Alabama-Birmingham.

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