White Sox top prospect homers in the team’s win over the Dodgers at Camelback Ranch. Another young player also added a home run of his own on Saturday.
A day after the White Sox announced the signing of a new deal for Eloy Jimenez, the team’s top prospect hit his second home run of Spring Training. In the Sox 5-1 victory over the Dodgers at Camelback Ranch on Saturday, Jimenez collected three hits.
Jimenez was hitting well below .200 before Saturday afternoon’s contest against the Dodgers. After his 3-for-3 performance that included a walk, Jimenez raised his average to .241 during Spring Training.
A large majority of White Sox fans are eagerly anticipating seeing Jimenez on Opening Day and hopefully, he enters the season with good momentum. The 22-year-old admitted that he was trying to do too much earlier this Spring but it appears that signing his most recent deal might have put him more at ease.
Jimenez wasn’t the only Sox player to hit a home run on Saturday. Yoan Moncada hit a solo home run in the second inning to extend the Sox lead from 3-1 to 4-1. Much like Jimenez, Moncada also recorded three hits against the Dodgers.
While the Sox offense got off to a hot start on Saturday thanks to a two-run ground rule double by Daniel Palka in the first inning, it was Manny Banuelos who kept the Dodgers bats mostly silent. Pitching against his former organization, Banuelos pitched five innings while allowing just two hits, one earned run and recording three strikeouts.
Banuelos is battling for the final spot in the Sox starting rotation for this season and he’s been doing a job recently to become the team’s fifth starter. The young left-hander would bring balance to the Sox starting rotation this season as there’s just one other lefty in Carlos Rodon.
With the start of the season coming up this Thursday, Banuelos should be hopeful that his outing on Saturday did enough to prove to the coaching staff that he’s worthy of being the fifth starter. He hasn’t pitched in the major leagues since 2015 and is still young enough at 28 to eventually find his groove as a starter.
The Sox will end their Cactus League play on Sunday against the Cleveland Indians at Goodyear Ballpark. Zach Thompson will start for the Sox. After their contest on Sunday, the Sox will play two exhibition games against the Arizona Diamondbacks at Chase Field on March 25 and 26 before starting their season on the road against the Kansas City Royals on March 28.