White Sox top outfield prospect had a decent spring training but was optioned back to Double-A Birmingham last week.
For now, Eloy Jimenez’s home will be in Birmingham, Ala., as he was optioned to Double-A Birmingham on Wednesday, March 14.
That doesn’t mean the 21-year-old should rule out a move to Chicago in the near future because the imprint he left during this year’s spring training was memorable. The outfielder went 4-for-7 in Cactus League games.
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Jimenez put up two home runs, one triple and three RBI during his time in Arizona. All these successes came as Jimenez combated a knee injury, which caused him to miss 15 straight games. That obstacle is behind him now, and there are no hard feelings about his move to Birmingham according to Daryl Van Schouwen Chicago Sun-Times.
"“I know that right now that I belong here. I know that. That’s for sure. When I’m going to be there, that’s up to the team. They have to make a decision and when they want me to be there I’m going to be there. I can’t control that.’’ Eloy Jimenez"
Even manager Rick Renteria applauded his performance and knows he’ll deliver in Double-A beyond what he exhibited in Arizona.
"“He did a great job. Everybody saw a little glimpse of what the young man’s capable of doing. He’s going to go down there and continue to work on his defense and get more at-bats and get himself ready and hopefully put himself in a position where we’re all awaiting making the decision.’’ Rick Renteria"
Last July, the White Sox acquired Jimenez along with Dylan Cease and two other prospects from the Cubs in return for Jose Quintana. Since then, Jimenez played games at high Class A Winston-Salem and finished his year at Birmingham.
He played the first 42 games of the season with Single-A Advanced Myrtle Beach during his time with the Cubs. Jimenez hit a combined .312/.379/.568 with 19 home runs and 65 RBI.
These numbers show a glimpse of why Jimenez ranks as number four on the MLB’s 2018 Prospect Watch list, but, Renteria doesn’t see Jimenez as the designated hitter the Cubs saw him as.
Only time will tell when Jimenez will show up in Chicago, where he is likely to play right field, his position at Winston-Salem and Birmingham. But, let’s not forget that Jimenez can also play left, his position for 17 games at Myrtle Beach and 14 games in the Dominican Winter Leagues.
A versatile player with impressive batting stats will no doubt shine on the Double-A diamond, as well as the Majors’, as Jimenez’s call up could come before the end of the season.