By: Mark Lester
After years of waiting, and after spending the last season as one of, if not the best prospects in all of baseball, Eloy Jimenez will make his long-awaited debut in the big leagues. The White Sox have just promoted him to the MLB roster, meaning that he’ll be in the lineup for Opening Day. The move was announced after the White Sox 7-1 Spring Training win over Arizona.
The crown jewel of the White Sox farm system just signed a lucrative contract to stay on the South Side for at least six years for $43 million dollars. The move is a somewhat risky one for the White Sox, as Jimenez has zero big league experience and has underperformed in this years Spring Training. However, if his numbers last year in AA and AAA are any indication, he’ll be a great addition to the team. In fact, he is currently one of the top potential candidates for AL Rookie of the Year, behind only Vladimir Guerrero Jr, who as of now still isn’t on the Blue Jays roster.
In 2018, Jimenez spent time in both Double-A Birmingham and Triple-A Charlotte. His numbers were ridiculous, batting .337/.384/.577 with 22 home runs and 75 RBIs in a total of 108 games. His defensive numbers in left field, where we’ll most likely see him this season, were solid as well. He posted 119 putouts in 127 attempts, good for a fielding percentage of .976.
Eloy was pretty much a given to join the Sox at some point in 2019, as I mentioned in a previous article on the up-and-coming prospects we could see being called up this season. Although I didn’t expect the call-up to happen this fast at the time, it’s really not all that surprising considering that after Eloy signed his six-year contract, it took away the need to keep him in Triple-A for a few weeks in order to delay his free agency by a season.
If Jimenez plays the same ball he’s been playing with the Charlotte Knights, he won’t have much if any trouble adjusting to the MLB level. His presence in the club is without a doubt reason for great excitement among the front office, players, and fans alike.
Eloy Jimenez and the White Sox will begin the 2019 season in Kansas City at 4:15 ET.