Thursday, January 24, 2008

Shape up or ship out

Brian, that only works if you actually hit the ball

I find myself at a troubling crossroads -- on one side, I'm happy that the White Sox went out to acquire a bunch of bodies to play the 2008 season with. We got two relievers to ensure Dewon Day never takes the mound again, and picked up some nice pieces in the infield (Cabrera) and outfield (Swisher, Quentin). On the other side of the crossroads is Brian Anderson.

Anderson was supposed to be our end-all be-all prospect for the outfield. He was supposed to be better than Chris Young (who has seriously burned us on the Arizona Diamondbacks), Ryan Sweeney (Jury is still out) and Jeremy Reed (who?). Unlike most Sox prospects, BA actually turned it on the minors, too -- he hit for average (.295 in '05), and has shown that he is a great Center Fielder in both the minors and majors. This isn't some Joe Borchard we're talking about -- Anderson was legit.

Unfortunately, a sub-par 2006 campaign (he hit .225 on the year, but .280 after the all-star break) sent the Sox searching for other options. Worst of all, he was battling a wrist injury last year, so he couldn't find his stroke (missed a good chunk of his season in AAA because of it).

So what happens this year?

I was looking forward to seeing Anderson take CF because the closest thing we have is Swisher (and he's a LF/RF at best), and Jerry Owens. I actually like Owens, and I know Ozzie does too, but even Owens might not be more than a pinch runner with this outfield of Swisher, Quentin and Dye.

I really think this could be Anderson's year -- aside from being a dead-ringer for a young Robert Redford at some points, he's actually starting to play some legit baseball. Don't close the door on him just yet.

"Look at the rack on that one."
"I'd hit that with my Wonderbat."

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