Take that fantasy drafters.
Former Dodge City Athletics shortstop Tim Anderson was expected to go in the latter part of the first round, but the Chicago White Sox drafted the former East Central (Miss.) Hornet selected him with the 17th pick of the 2013 Major League Baseball First-Year Draft.
Anderson was the top offensive player for the Athletics last summer and continued his torrid pace when he got back to playing for East Central. He admitted being selected higher than what every media outlet had felt he would land made things a little more sweeter.
“They hadn’t seen me work out live, so I wouldn’t have expected them to draft me,” Anderson said. “They called me and asked me some questions about how I would feel about playing for the White Sox.
“The team recognized me for my ability. They are my favorite team now.”
The shortstop batted .352 with eight home runs, 14 doubles, 48 runs, 39 runs batted in and 29 stolen bases during his time with the Athletics.
Anderson continued to work well last spring for East Central. The shortstop led the nation in batting average (.495) and runs (62), and second in stolen bases (41). He also hit 18 doubles, 11 triples and 10 home runs this spring.
When the selection was announced at Thursday night’s Dodge City Athletics-Liberal BeeJays game, the home crowd and some of the BeeJays group clapped in showing their appreciation for what the shortstop did for the Athletics in 2012.
“I had gotten a lot of messages from there all day,” Anderson said. “They showed me that love all day through social media and I appreciated all that they had done for me.”
The shortstop also got phone calls from radio stations of his hometown of Tuscaloosa, Ala.
Anderson reiterated that the draft was going to change his life and he admitted it was for the better at the time. He knows now the hard part will start once he signs a contract and heads off to the White Sox minor leagues.
“There’s nothing that’s going to change me,” Anderson said. “I’m going to camp and start to work out and continue to get better for the White Sox.”