The Chicago White Sox has a lot of outstanding hitters in their organization right now. One of the most important ones is Eloy Jimenez. Of course, the White Sox acquired Jimenez in a trade with the Chicago Cubs and that was one of the best trades in team history. He has a chance to be a superstar in this league if he keeps doing what he is doing.
We know that Jimenez makes his money with his bat. He is slowly getting better at playing left field defensively but he still isn’t that good at it. When he first came up, he was legitimately one of the worst fielders in the history of the league.
That sub-par play made 2021 a disaster of a season for him in the grand scheme of things. He tried to rob a home run in spring training that caused him to injure himself. He missed 99 regular-season games as a result of this injury that didn’t need to happen. Robbing a home run in spring training is pointless, especially when you are an elite hitter that has no chance to make the play.
When Eloy came back, he was on and off in terms of elite production. He had plenty of big home runs but he went through a decent slump at one point. It is so hard to maintain elite play when you only have 63 games to play after being gone for so long.
Eloy Jimenez is an incredibly important part of the Chicago White Sox.
2021 Grade: B-
Eloy Jimenez really hurt the White Sox by not being there all season. Nobody can replace that level of offense. They did a decent job with it in terms of depth but it took a team effort. If he was there all season long, they may have the best record in the AL instead of the third-best record. At a minimum, they may have had home-field advantage in the ALDS.
He slashed .249/.303/.437 for an OPS of .740. Those numbers can all be better over a longer period of time but he needs to stay healthy. In that short time, however, he did have 10 home runs, 37 RBIs, and 23 runs scored which are pretty good numbers. If he doesn’t hurt himself by making a bad play next year, you can expect all of the numbers to get even better.
Expect a true breakout year for Eloy. He has already made it known that he is an elite hitter but we all know there is even another level. He should be able to reach that in 2022 if he stays healthy. This is a player that can lead the American League in home runs.
Expect him to come into spring training motivated and excited. There is a lot of work to be done by this White Sox team and Jimenez is a big part of it. He gets a B- for this year because he really hurt the White Sox by making a bad fielding decision but he has the potential to be an A+ player next year and beyond.