If everything goes the way it should, White Sox fans should see Eloy Jimenez play the outfield on a regular basis in 2019.
And, if everything goes as it should, Jimenez should be a candidate for the 2019 AL Rookie of the Year.
But, since several teams are rebuilding, Jimenez might have some competition for the coveted award.
Jimenez has been in the White Sox minor league system for two seasons. He was acquired when the Sox traded Jose Quintana to the Cubs. The 6’4″, right-handed outfielder signed with the Cubs in 2013 as a teenager.
Once he arrived in the White Sox organization, he quickly moved through the minor league ranks. He is the White Sox top prospect and is considered the third best prospect in the MLB. The only two ahead of him are Vladimir Guerrero Jr, with the Blue Jays, and Fernando Tatis, Jr, with the Padres.
If Jimenez can carry his minor league stats into his rookie season, the Rookie of the Year award could easily come his way. In 2018, he spent half the season in Double-A and the other half in Triple-A. During his time with the Charlotte Knights, he hit an impressive .355/.399/.597 with 12 home runs and 33 RBI.
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The other two top MLB prospects performed well in 2018, too. Guerrero will just be 20 years old when the 2019 season begins. In his 2018 Triple-A season he hit .336/.414/.564 with six home runs and 16 RBI. Tatis will also be just 20 years old at the start of the 2019 season. In 2018, he played in Double-A and hit .286/.355/.507. Because Tatis has not yet spent time in Triple-A, he doesn’t have as good of a chance to play in the MLB as Guerrero and Jimenez do.
There are a few other potential rookies who could give Jimenez a run for his money. In the AL, the Detroit Tigers Christin Stewart, who is also an outfielder, showed off his skills with a .267/.375/.417 with a September call up. His left-handed bat and speedy work in the outfield could be the biggest competition that Jimenez could have for the ROY award.
The other name to watch is Justus Sheffield who will be pitching for the Mariners in 2019 after the trade with the Yankees. Sheffield was expected to pitch in the starting rotation for the Yankees, so the same can be expected in the Mariners organization, too.
2019 should be an interesting year with plenty of young arms and bats all over the MLB. Hopefully, Jimenez’s transition to the MLB will be quick so he can continue the success he saw in the minors.