Chicago White Sox shortstop prospect Tim Anderson finished the month of June on a blistering hot streak. In his last 10 games for the Double-A Birmingham Barons in the Southern League, Anderson has hit .381 (16-for-42) with two walks, five strikeouts, and three stolen bases. For the entire month he hit .301/.342/.422 and his overall season line stands at .308/.332/.408 with 14 doubles, six triples, one homer, and 25 steals in 31 attempts.
Drafted in the first round in June 2013 from East Central Mississippi Junior College, Anderson was one of the top pure athletes available in the 2013 draft class. Injuries limited him to 68 games for High-A Winston-Salem last year though he performed well (.297/.323/.472). The main offensive question entering 2015 was a very impatient hitting approach: his career BB/K/PA ratio entering this season was 32/160/665 and it was an open question whether more advanced pitchers would exploit his tendency to chase.
So far it hasn't been an issue: Anderson's combination of athleticism and bat speed has stood him in good stead and his hitting has remained strong, though with some reduction in isolated power compared to last year. However, his BB/K is still non-ideal at 10/62 this spring and concerns about his bat against Triple-A and major league competition remain in play. That said, he's passed the first test against Double-A hurlers and the burden is on the moundsmen at this point.
One key area of obvious progress is defense: he's made a gigantic improvement in his reliability this year with a massive reduction in error rate. He had an unacceptable .897 fielding percentage last year in High-A but that's much better this year at .953. He has the range and arm strength for shortstop and the improvement in reliability eases concerns that he'll have to switch positions.
To summarize, Anderson is excellent on the bases and greatly improved with the glove. He hits for high averages and has enough pop to keep the pitchers honest. The one remaining area of concern is strike zone judgment. He doesn't have to become a walk machine, but even mild improvement in selectivity will help him maintain production at higher levels.