Adam Eaton was with the White Sox when Tim Anderson reached the major leagues in 2016.
He saw him. He played with him. But he did not hear much from him.
Fast forward nearly five years, and Eaton’s hearing from Anderson much more.
“I was with him all day,” Eaton said of Anderson the first day of full-time training at Camelback Ranch. “I heard him talk more in the two and a half hours we were outside than I had in the month or two I had with him in ’16.”
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Eaton is back with the White Sox after four seasons with the Washington Nationals. The White Sox handed him out after the 201
Much has changed since Eaton left after the infamous dysfunctional campaign in 2016. Among the more notable changes, however, must be Anderson’s development from a typically timid rookie to the face of the franchise and one of the faces at the baseball game in general.
“It’s amazing,” Eaton said. “Seeing TA in ’16 … he was really quiet back then and just trying to find his own. And now he’s a premier shortstop. He’s an incredible player, incredible guy. And so to be able to have conversations with him when he’s a little more open and front than he was as a rookie, it’s really cool to see him and his personality.
“Seeing him from the other side, just seeing how he’s evolved as a ball player, it’s really impressive how he’s matured in the shortstop position as well as with the bat. So I can not wait to be on this team and be able to see it every day. “
Back in 2016, Eaton was part of the veteran group at the White Sox Clubhouse, one of the guys that drew media attention at night.
Now, however, Anderson is holding daily media briefings, part of the management team of a White Sox team looking at a World Series race in 2021 like the one Eaton’s Nationals did two years ago.
Five years ago, Eaton was described as a sparkler for the White Sox lineup. Now Anderson is driving the bus as an MVP candidate.
“When he decides to come back, yes, he’s definitely going to think of me,” Eaton said. “I think he’s the face of the organization, if not one of the top three faces, I will not diminish anyone else. But he really makes the team turn around, so to speak, in the clubhouse and on the pitch, as he is shortstop.
“To have the defined shortstop vote in the clubhouse, to vote in the city of Chicago. You want that resilience for the ball club.”
Anyone who has followed Anderson’s development over the course of his great league career knows that his personal growth has been as important as his growth on the pitch. From .240 hitter to percussion is one thing. From quiet child to overt spokesman is another.
The White Sox benefit from both aspects, which Eaton has been quick to note.
Of course, Anderson, in one of his bursting fun moods during his first media session in the spring on Monday, does not need to be reminded of everything that has gone down since Eaton left.
Nor does he think that Eaton – or anyone else – should be.
“I know he has seen,” he said. “Everyone has watched.”
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