Eloy Jimenez is raking this Spring and that’s good news for the Chicago White Sox. When he returned from injury last July he did not look like the same player.
His batting average dropped, his power numbers dipped, and his slugging percentage, OBP, and OPS all hit career lows. If this Spring is any indication, then Eloy Jimenez is officially back.
Jimenez was limited to just 55 games in 2021 after tearing a pectoral muscle just days before the regular season was set to begin. It was a crushing blow for the White Sox offense.
The year before in 2020 he won a Silver Slugger Award after hitting .296 along with 14 home runs and 41 RBIs in just 55 games. His 26 total barrels ranked third in the MLB according to Statcast.
During his rookie campaign, he led all AL Rookies with 31 home runs, 79 RBIs, and 240 total bases. He also ranked second in hits (125), and extra-base hits (51).
Eloy Jimenez is getting ready to do big things for the Chicago White Sox.
Jimenez has the rawest power of anyone on the White Sox. That is why the offense sputtered when he was absent and not producing last season. His struggles were understandable considering he was thrust into the midst of a pennant race after coming off of a brutal injury. It took Jimenez a while to get his timing down.
The fact that he is raking during Spring Training is a positive sign. In 10 at-bats Jimenez is batting .400 with one home run, five RBIs, and a 1.500 OPS. These numbers haven’t just been against guys who will be bagging groceries in a few weeks either. His home run came against an All-Star that used to play for the White Sox named Carlos Rodon.
Because no meaningful offseason additions were made to the lineup, Jimenez will play an intricate part in the White Sox success. He will be expected to be a run producer in the middle of the lineup.
To do this, staying healthy is the biggest key. He got injured during his rookie year and missed 40 games. In 2020 he missed the first two games of the AL Wildcard Series and was forced to leave Game 3 early after he tried to gut it out and play through pain.
The good news for White Sox fans is that Jimenez looks healthy and dangerous this Spring. The Big Baby could be on the verge of a breakthrough season.