First-round pick Tim Anderson’s career is set to begin at Bristol after he agreed to terms with the White Sox on Wednesday afternoon.
Anderson, whom the team selected with the 17th pick in last week’s amateur baseball draft, and the White Sox agreed to a $2.164 million deal, the exact amount Major League Baseball slotted for that pick.
Anderson, 19, was in Chicago on Wednesday for a physical and the team said he’d begin his career with the organization’s advanced rookie team in Bristol, Tenn.
The shortstop was named a first-team NJCAA Division II All-American this past season as he hit .495 with 62 runs and 41 stolen bases at East Central Community College in Decatur, Miss.
Anderson has drawn comparison from scouts to Cincinnati Reds second baseman Brandon Phillips and former Sox infielder Orlando Hudson. He was rated between the 25th and 37th best prospect in the draft by MLB.com, Baseball America and ESPN’s Keith Law.
Baseball America first reported the deal on Wednesday.
Not everyone is sure Anderson has the arm strength to stay at shortstop and some see him as a potential center fielder.
Anderson indicated on Monday via his Twitter account he would throw out the first pitch at U.S. Cellular Field on Tuesday but his arrival was delayed. Anderson is the fifth middle infielder the White Sox have selected with their first pick since the draft began in 1965.
Here’s Baseball America’s full pre-draft breakdown on Anderson: “It's a banner year for Mississippi junior colleges, and Anderson has a chance to become the highest-drafted such player in a June draft. A Tuscaloosa, Ala., native, Anderson missed much of his high school baseball career due to basketball, first because of knee injuries as a sophomore, then because of a state title run as a junior that overlapped much of baseball season. He focused on baseball in junior college and hit .328 with five home runs in the Jayhawk League last summer.
"He has followed up by showing solid power this spring to go with his other prodigious tools. Anderson stands out in a draft class light on middle infielders. Scouts aren't sold that he'll stick at shortstop thanks to average arm strength. He has middle-infield actions and needs repetition at the pro level to see where he'll stick. His athleticism and plus-plus speed would play in center field. Some scouts see power in Anderson's bat and consider him a potential Brandon Phillips, while others see him as a faster version of Orlando Hudson. Either way, Anderson will be the first or second middle infielder picked and won't be following through on his commitment to Alabama-Birmingham.”