When the White Sox decided to give Eloy Jimenez a six-year, $43 million contract with two club options (Spotrac) in Spring Training, it was clear just how highly the team thought of the outfielder and that they really wanted him to hit his ceiling sooner rather than later.
After he inked the deal with the club, Jimenez was set to open the 2019 season on the Opening Day roster.
The outfielder got off to a somewhat slow start to his career, though, hitting .220/.273/.390 with six homers and 13 RBI through the month of May.
In the month of June, though, Jimenez picked things up in a big way, slashing .284/.340/.602 with eight homers and 20 RBI over that span.
While the outfielder struggled in July, he picked up his production in August and September, which is a time where many rookies start to struggle due to the fact that they aren’t used to the length of the long 162 game season yet.
In the two months combined, Jimenez hit .308 with 14 homers and 40 RBI to along with a career-high .710 slugging percentage in the month of September.
Those last two months of the season allowed the 22-year-old to finish the season with a .267/.315/.513 slash line in addition to 31 homers and 79 RBI. That gave him a 116 wRC+ and 1.9 fWAR according to FanGraphs.
Defensively, the outfielder is still a work-in-progress, though, as he registered -11 DRS and -4.9 UZR in left field this season.
That being said, at just 22-years-old, there is no reason he couldn’t improve his defense as soon as next season and, worst-case scenario, the team could always make him a DH if he fails to improve defensively in left field.
The Chicago White Sox are very close to finishing off their rebuild and Eloy Jimenez is going to play a major role in determining the success of this franchise for years to come.