Player: Tim Anderson
Drafted by: Chicago White Sox (No. 17 Overall)
DOB: 6/23/1993 (Age: 19)
Height/Weight: 6'1"/180 lbs
School: East Central Community College (Decatur, Miss.)
Previously Drafted: Never drafted
One of the few true shortstops in this draft, Tim Anderson isn't getting a ton of pre-draft hype simply because it is hard for casual fans to take a look at him. He plays at a small community college in Mississippi, which also makes him incredibly volatile.
When you draft a college player, you hope to draft someone with polish and experience against advanced stuff. Anderson really doesn't fall into either category simply because he hasn't been properly tested. He has the package of skills to play shortstop in the big leagues, but there is a much higher risk with him than a typical college-aged player.
Full Scouting Report
Note: Numerical scores are on the conventional 20-80 scouting scale, where 50 is average, with the current score first and projected score second.
Overall hit tool and approach will need refinement; line-drive, contact swing without a ton of muscle or load limits power projection; quick wrists get head through zone; doesn't have great bat speed, but solid enough; lack of experience against top-tier college stuff puts him behind; likely won't be better than average in big leagues.
Present swing doesn't lend for much power against professional pitching; very little load, no uppercut, wiry frame; small adjustments with hands and legs should lead to more solid power; plus-plus speed and athleticism could lead to a lot of extra-base hits; should have better-than-average shortstop pop at peak.
Plate Discipline: 30/50
Biggest weakness will be adjusting to top-tier pitching; has bat speed to hit plus velocity; off-speed stuff is biggest problem; advanced stuff has the potential to carve him up until he adjusts; will depend on ability to put the ball in play to keep average and OBP up in the beginning; could take two full seasons before he gets comfortable against quality stuff.
Very quick out of the box and on the field; capable of legging out infield singles hit hard to the right side of the field; body has already filled out, so top speed isn't going to diminish anytime soon; has the instincts and feel for baserunning that helps speed play up.
Fringy range with below-average footwork and instincts; ability to use speed makes up for deficiencies right now; needs to position himself better to get better reads off the bat; average arm strength makes it difficult to throw from the hole; quicker release and repetitions could make him average or better in the big leagues.
Average arm strength; transfer from glove and release are solid, but overall velocity leaves plenty to be desired; chance lack of arm necessitates move to second base or center field, with the latter maximizing his overall skill set; with better positioning, could stay at short in pro ball.
MLB Player Comparison: Orlando Hudson
Projection: Average starting shortstop on first-division team.
MLB ETA: 2016
Chances of Signing: 85%
The combination of talent and ability to stay at shortstop, which is a big weakness in this draft class, as well as the fact that Anderson probably won't be able to improve his stock anymore than he has in the last year, make him a near-lock to sign with a drafting team.
It is telling how much his tools translate at the next level, considering the level of competition Anderson is facing at East Central, that he would be in the mix for a first-round pick leading up to draft day. That is not something you want to mess with.