Chicago White Sox: Eloy Jimenez advertises defense against Giants

Eloy Jimenez (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
Eloy Jimenez (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images) /

Eloy Jimenez exemplified defensive improvement on Tuesday that the Chicago White Sox will need to see from him this season.

Chicago White Sox’s fans got a treat on Tuesday with a beautiful play by Eloy Jimenez in left field that could make them less worried about his defense in 2020.

Jimenez also registered his first hit of the spring in his second game with an RBI single to center field.

Obviously, the defensive play was a bigger deal for Jimenez who struggled mightily in left field during his rookie season in the South Side.

FanGraphs noted that Jimenez registered -11 DRS and a -5.1 UZR in 2019 while Baseball Savant rated him no better at -11 OAA.

This is obviously a big concern for the organization going forward given that they have zero interest in making him a designated hitter in the future.

That is especially true when one of their best prospects, Andrew Vaughn, is a first baseman that could very well need to be used as a DH given the presence of Jose Abreu.

If both are going to be in the lineup every day at some point in the next few years, one of them will have to DH every day.

Jimenez worked on his defense with the Gigantes del Cibao of the Dominican Winter League which might prove to be a critical step in his development as a player.

The increased effort on his part certainly can’t hurt him going forward. His bat really isn’t going to be an issue going forward, but his defense is worth watching this spring as I detailed in an article from a few days ago.

It is not likely that Jimenez is going to become a Gold Glove Award-winning outfielder any time in the near future, if ever, but the fact that he’s dedicated to proving he can play the position is certainly an encouraging sign.

One play in the White Sox’s third game of spring training really doesn’t mean much on the surface, but if it is a sign of things to come in Jimenez’s near future, then it is a small step towards making a major improvement this season.

It also might be able to give him the confidence that everything he worked on defensively this offseason is actually paying off.

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The Chicago White Sox will certainly be hoping that Eloy Jimenez is on the road to becoming a more serviceable defender in left field.