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Tim Anderson's Cactus League debut reflects reports

As advertised, White Sox's No. 2 prospect rough in the field, promising at the plate

Rich Pilling/Getty Images

If you knew nothing about Tim Anderson before watching his Cactus League debut on Thursday, you learned most of what you needed to know about the White Sox's No. 2 prospect by the end of the day.

Anderson showed what the reports tell over his five innings of action. He replaced Alexei Ramirez in the field and held up for one inning before a couple of ugly errors tarnished his day. At the plate, he wasn't afraid to swing the bat, for worse and then for better. That's pretty much the Cliff's Notes summary of his 1½ years in professional baseball.

The Dodgers tested his glove immediately, and he responded by handling a chopper up the middle to start the fifth. He then ended the inning by turning a 4-6-3 double play.

His next two chances didn't go so well.

In the seventh, Darnell Sweeney hit a bouncer toward the hole on the left side. Anderson looked like he couldn't decide whether to round it off or take a direct line, and his compromise didn't get the job done, either.

Tim Anderson Error 1

Sweeney can run, though, so rushing that play isn't a particularly egregious error -- especially when it's the first action of the spring.

With the second error -- in the ninth inning -- he just flat-out dropped a non-laser liner:

Tim Anderson Error 2


Anderson was .500 at the plate, too, although that's a more enviable success rate here.

He showed his trademark aggressiveness, but it wasn't out of bounds. In fact, he took the first two pitches from Dodgers righty Joe Wieland in his first at-bat, but the second pitch was a questionable low-and-away strike that might have gotten Anderson's wheels spinning, especially with two on and two outs. Wieland made Anderson expand his zone -- out and around a lower fastball for strike two, and over a curve in the dirt for strike three.

Anderson swung three times in his second trip -- this time against righty Jeremy Kehrt -- but all three were strikes. He fouled off an inside-corner fastball, took an inside curve to even it up, and then was out and around a fastball to put him back in a 1-2 count.

Kehrt tried to put him away like Wieland did, but his breaking ball stayed in the zone, and Anderson stayed back long enough to rope a single to left.

Tim Anderson single

That's basically where Anderson stands as a prospect entering 2015. He has all the athleticism you'd want and a feel for hitting, but his knack for play-making lags behind. That's to be expected, because he's short on reps compared to other Double-A shortstops. The finishing process is going to require plenty of patience, and with Ramirez owning short with the Sox and Tyler Saladino hanging out sat Triple-A, there's really no need to rush him.

And speaking of prospects putting their most notable traits on display Thursday, get a load of Courtney Hawkins' power.