There's a new dynamic duo in town.
Tim Anderson and Yoan Moncada don't have the championship pedigree Michael Jordan and Scottie Pippen built during their six championship seasons with the dynastic Bulls. But the White Sox middle infield of the future is already preparing for the day when the South Side rebuild yields a perennial contender.
"We're going to try to bring back like how Pippen and Jordan were in Chicago," Anderson said during last month's SoxFest at the Hilton Chicago. "That's the swag we're going to go about things with this year."
White Sox fans got a taste of what the future might bring last season, when Moncada was called up to the big leagues and teamed with Anderson in the middle of the infield.
But both players dealt with their struggles. Moncada slashed .100/.280/.250 in his first 13 games and still had a batting average under .200 midway through September.
Anderson's struggles were well chronicled, as he spent the season dealing with the death of his best friend. As he dealt with the emotional effects, his numbers took a big dip from what they were during his rookie season in 2016. Last season, he slashed .257/.276/.402. His power numbers were up as he played in many more games - 17 homers and 56 RBIs - but he also led all of baseball in errors.
This offseason's solution? For Anderson, it was stepping away from the game and spending time with his family.
"For me to get away from baseball was definitely the best thing to happen," Anderson said. "Kind of separated myself from that this offseason, spent more time with my family and taking care of what really matters. Now I'm in a better place, I'm excited about the season. I'm ready to get back out there to work.
"It was tough trying to play and go through tough times, so I feel like the time and having fun this offseason was definitely - I'm having fun in life, and I want to show it. I'm in a better place now and ready to get rolling."
Hopes are still high for Anderson inside the White Sox organization, and fans should be nowhere near ready to move on from the 24-year-old who just completed his first full major league season. It's easy sometimes to lose him in the constant stream of news about highly rated prospects still developing in the minors. Anderson's status as an early arrival, before this rebuilding process got started, gives him a unique perspective as the rest of the future begins to make its way to the South Side.
"It's good because they can pick my brain," Anderson said. "I'm a great guy, I'm open, willing to talk, get along with everybody. It's going to be fun to get these guys up and see what we can do."
There's still plenty of time left in the White Sox waiting game, but the middle infield of the future is already here. Predicting the levels of success that Jordan and Pippen reached would be pretty outlandish. But there's no harm in trying to become Chicago's next dynamic duo.
It's a new season, so bring on the excitement.
"Just have fun," Anderson said of his 2018 goals. "Get back to being that dominant player, an exciting player to watch. That's the goal, to get back to having fun."