That heat you feel emanating from the Caribbean isn’t the latest flashpoint in the debate over global warming. It’s more likely the white-hot bat of Chicago White Sox wunderkind, Eloy Jimenez. The number one prospect in the organization and number four overall according to MLB pipeline, has been annihilating Dominican Winter League pitching. In 23 games, the 20-year-old Dominican Republic native is leading the league in home runs (4), RBI (20), and batting average (.365).
If you’re not into old school stats, making the Triple Crown meaningless, take a gander at his whopping OPS of 1.113. The next closest hitter comes in at .949. Not enough? Some guy named Mike Trout led the majors in that category with a mark of 1.071 in 2017. He also leads the league with a mind-boggling .698 slugging percentage. To put that in perspective, left-handed hitting outfield prospect of the Arizona Diamondbacks, Socrates Brito comes in second with a mark of .563. Lastly, Jimenez ranks fourth in OBP with a mark of .414.
At this point, you may be questioning the level of competition of the Dominican League. He’s outdistancing a number of other hitters amongst MLB’s Top 100 prospects. These include such notables as Vladimir Guerrero Jr. – ranked one slot higher than Jimenez at number three, his current slash line is .236/.304/.313. Number 51 prospect and former White Sox property, whom they dealt to San Diego in the James Shields trade, Fernando Tatis Jr. is slashing .246/.358/.386. Another marquee prospect, number 97, Jorge Mateo, a second baseman in the perennially talent-laden Oakland system has put up a slash line of .235/.278/.400. None of these highly-regarded athletes are even remotely close to approaching the numbers that Jimenez has compiled.
Regardless of your measuring stick of choice, Eloy Jimenez is proving why Chicago White Sox fans are so optimistic about the possibility of him launching balls into the seats at Guaranteed Rate Field sometime in the summer of 2018. After reading this, their confidence level should be off the charts. Some may even be taking extra satisfaction by rubbing these numbers in the noses of their Cub fan friends.
Jimenez will likely open 2018 with the Double-A Birmingham Barons. Don’t expect him to stay there for long.
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