Anderson back leading the way as White Sox emerge from April slumber

                                                                                                                                                                                                   
  • Tim Anderson looks at his teammates and celebrates his home run off Cubs relief pitcher Keegan Thompson. Anderson had a horrendous stretch of play in April, but the White Sox's star shortstop survived and is back to playing at a high level.

    Tim Anderson looks at his teammates and celebrates his home run off Cubs relief pitcher Keegan Thompson. Anderson had a horrendous stretch of play in April, but the White Sox's star shortstop survived and is back to playing at a high level. Associated Press

 
 
Updated 5/7/2022 7:15 PM

In his first full season of professional baseball, Colson Montgomery is off to a promising start at low Class A Kannapolis.

That is notable for two reasons.

 

First, Montgomery was the White Sox's first-round draft pick last summer and he immediately became the organization's No. 1 prospect.

Second, the 20-year-old Montgomery plays shortstop.

That's been Tim Anderson's position since midway through the 2016 season and he's under contract through 2024.

Anderson will be 31 years old when the team-friendly deal expires. Anything is possible, but it's difficult to imagine him leaving as a free agent and playing in a different uniform.

"I'm in a place where I want to be," Anderson said. "I'm happy here. I love Chicago, especially the South Side."

The feeling from the Sox's side is mutual, and another contract extension offer is likely coming down the road.

"As good as any shortstop playing," manager Tony La Russa said. "He gets better every year. His ceiling is tops. He wants it, and he wants it for the right reasons.

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"Everything about him is plus, plus, plus."

Anderson was a minus, minus, minus for a stretch in April, making 6 errors in three games. He was also caught giving the middle finger to fans in Cleveland and hit with a one-game suspension.

While he's still waiting for a decision on his appeal, Anderson did express regret.

"I have to apologize for my actions," he said. "There are a lot of people who really look up to me. I take full accountability of what I did. But it's something that I have to learn from and grow from."

Anderson has been learning and growing since he joined the lineup, and that helped him stay grounded during the rough period in April that saw the White Sox lose eight straight and 10 of 11.

"Move forward, flush it, keep growing and learning and try to make today better than yesterday," Anderson said.

Before Wednesday night's game against the Cubs at Wrigley Field, Anderson walked by me in the dugout and asked, "Are you makin' it or fakin' it?"

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

That would have been an obvious question for the all-star shortstop during the rough patch in April but better days are back for Anderson, and the Sox.

With 14 hits in 33 at-bats over his last eight games, Anderson has hiked his average to .337 and is positioned to make a run at his second batting title in four years.

He's tightened up the defense, has been a weapon running the bases and Anderson remains the White Sox's most forceful leader.

"I'm always going to try to strive to be the best," he said. "Try to continue to win, so I'm always motivated and I always want to keep pushing. It's pretty much the same each and every year. Come here to work and try to win and see what happens."

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