White Sox confident Eloy Jimenez will handle microscope

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Eloy Jimenez singles during Saturday’s game. | Getty Images

Every time he steps on the field, White Sox outfielder Eloy Jimenez will be under scrutiny. What kind of pitches he sees will be dissected, the routes he takes on fly balls will be evaluated and his numbers will be picked apart daily.

That’s just life as one of the most heralded prospects in baseball. The Sox, however, have no concerns he’ll be able to handle everything that comes his way.

‘‘You’re human, keep playing,’’ shortstop Tim Anderson said. ‘‘He’s a ballplayer, man. You know what he’s capable of doing, and I think he’s going to be just fine. He’s going to be killing the baseball, like he’s been doing.’’

One day after going hitless in four at-bats Friday, Jimenez went 3-for-4 in the Sox’ 9-2 loss Saturday to the Mariners. It was the first three-hit game of Jimenez’s career. And though he still doesn’t have an extra-base hit, the results have been positive.

‘‘I think he got the ball up, he put the bat on the ball, he found some positive outcomes,’’ manager Rick Renteria said. ‘‘As long as he’s not trying to do too much, once balls are in manageable zones for him, he’ll be fine. Not only will he find singles, I think he’ll drive the ball, as well.’’

So far, Jimenez hasn’t done that. On Saturday, however, he showed he can recover from an off-day and contribute, even if the ball isn’t flying like it did in the minor leagues.

‘‘I’m trying to get comfortable first,’’ Jimenez said. ‘‘I don’t worry about the home runs because I know they are going to come. I’m just worrying about taking good at-bats and getting good pitches to hit.’’

If Jimenez is worried about anything other than baseball, he isn’t showing it. And if he needs any advice on handling being under a microscope, former top prospect Lucas Giolito has some.


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‘‘I say put that out of your mind,’’ Giolito said. ‘‘Stay off of social media if you have a rough day. Baseball’s baseball. There’s a little bit of a process when you get up here. You’re just getting used to how things are, the travel and everything like that.

‘‘But Eloy’s a special talent. He’s going to be just fine. He had a good day today, and we’ll be seeing him start to mash balls a lot here soon. I’m excited.’’

The Sox even might see him stealing bases. Renteria, perhaps semi-jokingly, said Jimenez asked why he isn’t getting the signal to steal. Renteria then recalled he told Jimenez that if he chased down some balls to either side in the outfield, then they would talk about granting him permission to steal.

Jimenez made the plays, and now he has some ideas for what he can do on the bases.

‘‘I [could] steal bases a long time ago, but the team in the minor leagues didn’t let me run,’’ Jimenez said. ‘‘But I’m going to start doing it. Catchers, be ready for that. Like I said, I can steal a couple of bases here.’’

If and when Jimenez starts looking to steal bases, that would be another part of his game to be picked over.

There were good things for Jimenez to think about Saturday, though the loss that ended the Sox’ modest two-game winning streak somewhat tempered his ability to acknowledge them.

‘‘It’s a little bit hard, but we lose [as] a team,’’ Jimenez said. ‘‘It’s a good day for me . . . but [not] the team.’’

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