You can make a case that Eloy Jimenez is the best hitter on the Chicago White Sox. His bat is as good as any young hitter has ever had in the organization. It is up to him to reach that potential. He also might be the worst defensive outfielder in the history of the sport. He makes mistakes out there that would annoy a high school baseball coach. That lack of outfield skill led to him having a horrible injury during spring training.
We all know by now how the White Sox have dealt with this injury the best way they could. Andrew Vaughn has played some above-average left field and many others have stepped up to replace the offensive production left behind by Jimenez. It isn’t the same, surely, but they are getting by.
With a 5.5 game lead in the American League Central, it is fair to be confident that adding Jimenez back will make things even easier. They are the only team in the division with a positive run differential and it is at +108. Everybody else is negative.
If you add Eloy back into this lineup, it will be so much better. It still won’t be a full-strength lineup until Luis Robert and Nick Madrigal are back (if that happens this year) but it will certainly be much more dynamic with Jimenez’s bat. He has the potential to hit 50 home runs and drive in 120. It is a very high ceiling and one that could put the White Sox over the edge.
Eloy Jimenez hints at a return to the Chicago White Sox on his Instagram page.
Jimenez has already hinted at a return already earlier in the year but he decided to double down on it on Monday. He posted a picture of himself on Instagram in a White Sox uniform with a Spanish-speaking caption. It translates to:
"“Thank God for everything that the decisions never disrupt your goals almost back let’s go”."
The fact that he added the “almost back” part is the most intriguing thing. Rick Hahn’s update from last week made it seem like he still has a little bit to go but Jimenez went out and made this post anyway. It is fair to assume that their definitions of almost back maybe a little bit different but it is good to see Jimenez posting things like this nonetheless. The White Sox needs him back as soon as possible.
They don’t just need him back, they need him back playing at the level we know he can play at. If he hits the ground running, there is plenty of reasons to believe that this team can win the American League pennant.