White Sox News

White Sox: Where Does Jimenez Factor in Rookie of the Year Voting?

Joshua Finkelstein
CHICAGO, ILLINOIS - JULY 03: Eloy Jimenez #74 of the Chicago White Sox bats against the Detroit Tigers at Guaranteed Rate Field on July 03, 2019 in Chicago, Illinois. The White Sox defeated the Tigers 7-5. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
CHICAGO, ILLINOIS - JULY 03: Eloy Jimenez #74 of the Chicago White Sox bats against the Detroit Tigers at Guaranteed Rate Field on July 03, 2019 in Chicago, Illinois. The White Sox defeated the Tigers 7-5. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images) /
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Eloy Jimenez had a very impressive rookie season for the Chicago White Sox. With Rookie of the Year voting coming up, where does he rank among American League rookies?

As reported by Joe Rivera of Sporting News, Yordan Alvarez was their pick for American League Rookie of the Year in 2019, with no player ranking anywhere near the 93 votes he received.

Jimenez was voted for six times and Bo Bichette got four votes, while others/blank got 23 votes.

Alvarez was very good in 2019 and helped lead the Houston Astros to the World Series. In 87 games (369 plate appearances), the left-handed hitter had a .313/.412/.655 slash line with 27 home runs and 78 RBI to give himself a 173 wRC+ and 3.7 bWAR.

While the small sample size certainly makes it possible that he will never repeat this type of success again, the statistics he put up in that span would suggest that he’s already a star in this league which deserves recognition.

However, his defense was suspect, to say the least, which resulted in him starting only nine games in left field this season, with the rest coming at the DH spot.

Meanwhile, Bo Bichette spent significantly less time at the major league level (46 games) in which he burst onto the scene with a .311/.358/.571 slash line to go along with 11 homers and 21 RBI. That gave the shortstop a 144 wRC+ and 2.1 bWAR.

Defensively, he was roughly average as he had three defensive runs saved with a -1.2 UZR, according to FanGraphs.

While Brandon Lowe and Vladimir Guerrero Jr. were at one point viewed as favorites for the award, they both fell significantly upon the emergence of Alvarez.

Now, where does Jimenez factor in?

I actually think I agree with where Sporting News ranked him among rookies.

Jimenez, 22, hit .267/.315/.513 with 31 homers and 79 RBI to give himself a 117 OPS+ and 1.4 bWAR.

While his stats aren’t necessarily even as impressive as Bichette, Jimenez did so while playing in 122 games and starting the year with the team, which means his stats were battle-tested through an entire season of growing pains.

Bichette’s span of time in the league might mean that he didn’t even have to deal with pitchers adjusting to him.

Jimenez had to deal with that and his bWAR might be lower due to his defense, which Yordan Alvarez got a pass on as a DH.

In 967 2/3 innings, Jimenez had -11 DRS and a -5.1 UZR, which most certainly would hinder his bWAR and fWAR (1.9).

So given his ability to start with the team this season and play 122 games while also getting judged for his poor defensive metrics unlike the top candidate for the award, Jimenez probably is second in my eyes as well among American League rookies.

Next. Lucas Giolito, Yolmer Sanchez Among Gold Glove Finalists. dark

Nonetheless, all of these players were quite productive in 2019 and the Chicago White Sox, Toronto Blue Jays, and Houston Astros should be very excited about the young talent they have.

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