Eloy Jimenez says he’s grateful for his time in the Cubs’ system

New White Sox prospect Eloy Jimenez was caught off-guard when the Cubs decided to trade him and three other minor-leaguers to the South Side on Thursday in exchange for Jose Quintana.

“Honestly, I didn’t know much about this organization because I wasn’t expecting to play here,” Jimenez, an outfielder who is ranked the No. 5 prospect by Baseball America, said through an interpreter. “A few friends have been talking about how good this organization is.”

Jimenez is now part of the Sox’ organization, which suddenly is loaded with top-100 prospects.

The 20-year-old Dominican Republic native had been playing for the Cubs’ advanced-Class A affiliate, Myrtle Beach. He’s batting .270 with eight homers, six doubles and a .484 slugging percentage (.833 OPS) in 43 games this season. In his last six games, he had driven in eight runs.

Chicago Cubs right fielder Eloy Jimenez takes a swing against the Seattle Mariners during the second inning of a spring training baseball game, in Peoria, Ariz. | Ross D. Franklin/Associated Press

The Sox assigned Jimenez to advanced-Class A Winston-Salem. His first game was against his former teammates on Myrtle Beach. He went 1-for-4 with two RBI.

“I felt weird at the beginning,” Jimenez said. “It was kind of a surreal situation, but, you know, once the game started and I was on the field, it was just baseball. It was a connection, of course, but at the moment of the game starting, it was just baseball. I started feeling more comfortable.”

Jimenez was an eager prospect who left quite the impression on the Cubs at spring training this year.

“He’s such a special player and special kid,” Cubs farm director Jaron Madison said in February. “You never know [the big-league timeline] with a guy like that.”

Jimenez said Friday in a conference call that he’s a “happy player” and enjoys the grind.  He also was grateful for his time in the Cubs’ system.

“I just want to thank all of them in the Cubs’ organization because they treated me as part of the family,” Jimenez said. “They treated me as a son for them. I’m glad I had the opportunity to play for them and their system. It’s just another step forward for me.”