White Sox: Renteria sees star in Eloy Jimenez
The Chicago White Sox got a glimpse of what Eloy Jimenez could become in 2019 and manager Rick Renteria believes he’s going to be even better than that long-term as detailed by Dan Santaromita of NBC Sports Chicago.
Jimenez, who turned 23 on Wednesday, had a strong start to his career as he hit .267/.315/.513 with 31 home runs and 79 RBI. That gave himself a strong 116 wRC+ offensively.
However, he was only worth a 1.9 fWAR because his defense was significantly below average as he registered -11 DRS and a -5.1 UZR in left field.
"“I think, Eloy, in terms of just playing in general, whether it’s here or in winter ball, defending is the biggest thing for us that we want him to continue to work on,” Renteria said as written by Santaromita.“We talk about that a lot. I know a lot of people have questions about that. I don’t. I’m one of the ones that doesn’t. I’m in there with him in the dugout watching him work on the field. This young man is going to be a really, really outstanding Major League Baseball player on both sides of the baseball.”"
In fact, Renteria is surprised about how dedicated Jimenez is to working on his defense. The outfielder is playing for the Gigantes del Cibao of the Dominican Winter League.
"“For me, I would rather just have a little break, put himself ready for the next season,” Renteria added. “But this kid is not going to stop until he reaches what he wants to be.”"
It’s clear that Renteria sees a future star in Jimenez and someone who clearly cares tremendously about his craft.
It is very rare for players to play in the Dominican Winter League, so it really shows dedication when someone with as high of notoriety as Jimenez does.
Obviously, how he fares statistically this winter is not all that important in the grand scheme of things, but the skills he learns, especially defensively, could prove vital in 2020.
Eloy Jimenez has the ability to become one of the best players in the league and he’s certainly putting himself in position to succeed.