Top White Sox prospect Eloy Jimenez raises the bar
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White Sox prospect Eloy Jimenez would like to model his offensive game after Miguel Cabrera and his defensive game after Adam Jones.
That should work.
What Jimenez, the fourth-ranked prospect in baseball by MLB.com, looks like when he joins the Sox is one of the more intriguing elements of their rebuild. Fans will see the 6-4, 205-pound outfielder, whom the Sox acquired in a trade with the Cubs for left-hander Jose Quintana, in a Sox spring-training uniform for the first time in February.
‘‘I would like to mix the abilities of those two players and be the best of those two,’’ Jimenez said through a translator on a conference call Tuesday.
Jimenez enjoyed an exceptional debut in the Sox’ system at Class A Winston-Salem and Class AA Birmingham, hitting to all fields with power and average, and he recently completed another strong showing in the Dominican Winter League, where he batted .368 with four home runs, 21 RBI and a .676 slugging percentage in 19 games. He also will participate in a Sox hitters camp in January in Glendale, Arizona.
It’s all good, said Jimenez, who already is thinking about a World Series a few days shy of his 21st birthday.
‘‘You see a lot of major-league players who get over 600 at-bats, and they play winter league,’’ Jimenez said. ‘‘This is just a good way for us to get ready for when the time comes for us to play in the World Series. We can’t say, ‘Oh, I’m tired because I had 600 at-bats.’ ’’
Jimenez was one of five prospects added to the Sox’ 40-man roster Monday, which protects them from the Rule 5 draft.
The Sox will let Jimenez show his stuff at major-league spring training, then likely will start him where he left off in 2017 — at Birmingham. Between Class A and Class AA with the Cubs and Sox, he hit 19 home runs and batted .312/.379/.568.
Jimenez said in September that he is ready for the majors. On Tuesday, he seemed to understand starting the season with the big club is a long shot.
‘‘I can’t tell you exactly what is going to happen,’’ he said. ‘‘I have a lot of confidence in myself and can play in the majors whenever the team thinks it’s the best moment for me.
‘‘The only thing I can do is work hard, do the things I know I can do and try to force the team to put me on the major-league roster.’’
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