Chicago White Sox shortstop Tim Anderson has no lack of confidence. Anderson has spoken out about his career, whether he’s doing a home run or ending the chatter about the unwritten rules, Anderson always comes up with a good quote.
He has secured everything in the last two seasons. Anderson has hit .331 / .357 / .514 in his last 172 games. He has won a slap title and a Silver Slugger and is the catalyst for a White Sox team that is expected to be a consistent playoff contender for the next decade.
But Anderson may have gone too far on Friday. During an interview with Danny Parkins of 670 The Score, Anderson challenged the rest of the AL, calling the White Sox the “best team in the American League”.
Anderson was so excited to make the statement that he even dropped an F-bomb on the radio.
That’s a lot of confidence from Anderson, considering the White Sox snuck their way into the extended playoffs as number 7 and couldn’t get past the Oakland Athletics in the first round. If the White Sox doesn’t do a deep postseason in 2021, Anderson’s quote could come back to bite him.
Tim Anderson has grown into one of the best hitters in MLB. (Photo by Ron Vesely / Getty Images)
White Sox is facing another strong year
At the same time, it’s not like Anderson plays for the Pittsburgh Pirates. The White Sox are expected to take a step forward in 2021 after taking over Lance Lynn and signing Adam Eaton and Liam Hendriks in the off-season. In addition, top pitching prospect Michael Kopech will return after leaving the 2020 season. On the surface, the White Sox look stronger than they did last season.
The story goes on
But the roster isn’t perfect. The team’s pitching depth after the top 3 leaves much to be desired, especially if the new pitching trainer Ethan Katz can’t get Dylan Cease or Reynaldo Lopez back on track. While Eaton has been productive in the past, he has had a bad year and struggled with injuries. The team also has a massive hole in a designated hitter where they hope the potential Andrew Vaughn can step in and hit like a 10 year old veteran at some point.
So significant are these concerns that the baseball prospectus surprisingly predicts the White Sox to win just 82.8 games in 2021 and rank third in the AL Central. If the White Sox don’t make another move or two or a few players take big strides forward, Anderson could eat his words when October rolls around.
Yankees, Rays, Astros, Twins stand in the way
Even if the White Sox beat projections, it’s not that the AL 2021 will be a no-brainer. The Minnesota Twins won AL Central 2020 and have an equally strong squad this season. The New York Yankees bring back a major offense but also went out and traded for Jameson Taillon. The Tampa Bay Rays may look worse on paper, but the team shouldn’t be underestimated after reaching the World Series last year. There’s also the Houston Astros, which had a bad year in 2020 but is ready to bounce back in 2021.
In Anderson’s defense, the White Sox have reached a point in their competitive cycle where just playing the playoffs is no reason to celebrate. This team should have World Series ambitions. Anderson has now set a bar where anything but a World Series appearance will be a disappointment.
It’s up to the rest of the White Sox to agree with him.
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