White Sox: Three players to focus on in spring training

(Photo by Peter Aiken/Getty Images)
(Photo by Peter Aiken/Getty Images) /
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Eloy Jimenez (Photo by Nuccio DiNuzzo/Getty Images)
Eloy Jimenez (Photo by Nuccio DiNuzzo/Getty Images) /

3. Eloy Jimenez

The outfielder will be entering his second season in the big leagues which is often a very crucial season in one’s development.

Jimenez, 23, was very solid in his rookie season and showed immense progress throughout the season as detailed in this piece, which I also talked about how important he is to this team’s success.

While most second-year players are not focused on too much in spring training, Jimenez is one that should.

The right-handed hitter was abysmal defensively in 2019, but played winter ball in the offseason with the hopes that he could work on and improve his defense.

If he can improve significantly from the -11 DRS and -5.1 UZR he accumulated in left field last season, his overall value could go up significantly as his offense was very strong with a .267/.315/.513 slash line in addition to 31 home runs and 79 RBI to give himself a 116 wRC+.

His 1.9 fWAR would suggest that he isn’t nearly as good of a player, but that was largely brought down by his defense last season.

If he truly has improved his defense, this could prove to be a breakout season for him in which he puts the league on notice.

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Jimenez will likely get a lot of outfield reps in spring training in order to give him more chances to work on his defense and how he performs in that time could be very telling for what’s to come in 2020.