Another First Round Pick! Tim Anderson, Kannopolis Intimidators

By Rodger M. Wood

I photographed another 2013 1st Round Pick, my fourth top pick this season, playing shortstop for Kannapolis at Hagerstown, MD Sunday.

The 19-year old East Central Community College in Decatur, Mississippi, Tim Anderson was drafted by the Chicago White Sox 17th overall in the June amateur draft and is getting his first professional exposure at full season Low A SALLY League Intimidators this season.

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Noted for his speed in junior college, he was second in the nation in college with 41 SB, Anderson is playing a deep shortstop and already stealing a few bases (13 SB in 43 GP) in the pros.

Baseball’s soothsayers say he’ll have to change his swing to power the ball  of the park but for the time being, he’ll probably keep hitting for average and getting a lot of base and extra bases hits. His statistics at Kannopolis are 45 hits for 169 AB in 43 GP, 0 HR, 7 2B, and 3 3B.

Some experts project his future position in center field, but his speed can also help him cover lots of ground at shortstop. Sunday, he was practicing his between innings throws from deep in the hole, but his natural position will depend largely on what type of hitter he becomes down the road.

Two #1 Draft Picks!

By Rodger M. Wood

Rome Braves pitching coach Derrick Lewis is blessed with the responsibility for not only one but two #1 draft pick pitchers this season at the Atlanta Braves Low –A SALLY affiliate.

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With a 4-4 W-L record, 3.28 ERA in 71.1 IP in this his first full professional season, Atlanta Braves 2012 #1 (21st overall) Snelville HS RHP Lucas Sims is showing  positive results from Lewis’ savvy pitching instruction.

Although 2013 #1 (31st overall) 21-year RHP Jason Hursh is just getting started with his professional career, Lewis has gotten him showing some encouraging signs throwing his 91-96 fast ball past 7 batters in just 6.2 IP in 3 starts.

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Coming off Tommy John surgery in 2012,  Hurst just has to polish his secondary pitches under Lewis to become a bonafide major league prospect.

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It was a pleasure seeing my old friends Rome manager, Randy Ingle, who I have known since he played at AAA-Richmond in 1986,  and hitting coach Bobby Moore, who I first met when I shot his picture at Richmond in 1992.

I missed seeing pitching coach Derrick Lewis, as he was on paternity leave celebrating the birth of his first baby girl.  I have known Derrick since he was a young pitcher in the Carolina League at Macon in 1998.

The three of them are a class act – I always enjoy seeing my old friends.

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Rome also has a number of other prospects in their lineup:  2013 #8 round draft pick OF Kyle Wren, who is hitting 333 BA, 1 HR, and 6 RBI with 16 hits in 48 AB, RHP Maurico Cabrera, Baseball America’s #6 Braves top minor league prospect, shortstop Jose Peraza, BA #10, BA #19 C Josh Elander, who is crushing the ball with 11 HR, 61 RBI, 318 BA, and BA prospect #21, 3B Carlos Franco.