White Sox top prospect continues to show why he’s too good for Triple-A but hasn’t checked off enough boxes to warrant a promotion to the Majors.
Many Chicago White Sox fans would like to see top prospect Eloy Jimenez promoted soon. However, general manager Rick Hahn stated he still has some boxes to check before he makes his major league debut.
Hahn spoke with reporters on Friday and according to James Fegan of The Athletic (subscription required), Jimenez and top pitching prospect, Michael Kopech still has unchecked boxes on the team’s checklist for each player. On Friday, Jimenez added another three hits to increase his batting average with Triple-A Charlotte to .372. In the Knights 6-1 loss to the Pawtucket Red Sox, Jimenez went 3-for-4 with a double and walk.
"“You can look at a stat line or you can look at a box score and say, ‘This guy looks like he’s doing well, looks like he’s ready.’ Our checklist that we want these guys to answer is a little more lengthy than that. And not until they’ve answered all those questions we have for them at the minor league level will we promote them. It’s not going to be a function of any level of eagerness that fans or coaches or myself or the front office has. That’s not prudent for the long term.” Rick Hahn"
It’s surprising that Hahn would state that Jimenez still has unchecked boxes as the 21-year-old is making Triple-A pitching look easy for him. Jimenez is hitting .450 in his last 10 games with the Knights and would be a welcome addition to a Sox team that needs to excite its fanbase before the end of the season.
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If Jimenez continues to hit well and remains healthy with Charlotte, it will be hard for Hahn and the Sox front office to justify not promoting him when rosters expand in September. Currently, there isn’t any room for Jimenez on the team with Nicky Delmonico and Daniel Palka getting playing time in the outfield. Expect this to change soon if Delmonico or Palka struggle in August.
Another prospect that could use a promotion is 2018 first-round draft pick, Nick Madrigal. The 5-foot-7 infielder has yet to strikeout in 44 at-bats thus far in his professional career. Madrigal went 1-for-2 in the Kannapolis Intimidators 8-2 win over the Delmarva Shorebirds on Friday night. Madrigal has appeared in nine games for Kannapolis but could be promoted to Single-A Advanced Winston-Salem before the end of the season.
Madrigal would make a solid addition to a Dash team that will play in the postseason. Winston-Salem could also see the return of Luis Robert by the postseason. According to Fegan, Hahn stated Robert is progressing well from his thumb injury and could go to Arizona for rehab action before returning to Winston-Salem.
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