LAS VEGAS – The White Sox did not depart the winter conferences with free agent outfielder Bryce Harper in tow Thursday, although he stays on the radar.
In the meantime, someplace within the Dominican Republic, Eloy Jimenez continued to swat Winter League baseballs with authority, the newest tantalizing display of the Sox tremendous prospect’s talent that shall be on display in the main leagues quickly, in all probability in April.
Jimenez’ looming presence and impending arrival in Chicago is an enormous purpose why the potential for Harper jumping into the outfield has everybody from the Sox entrance workplace to the teaching employees to a wanting fan base on the sting of their seats.
Jimenez, who turned 22 final month, is a possible celebrity in ready, a likeable teammate with a broad smile, partaking character and an explosive, polished bat. Picture him doing what he does offensively in left area and Harper in right, bookend stars wrapped round $26 million Cuban prospect Luis Robert, 21, in middle for the subsequent half dozen years or so.
Harper, at 26, and Jimenez might be for the Sox what Kris Bryant and Anthony Rizzo have been for the Cubs, a battery of center-of-the-order bats underneath lengthy-term staff control. Potential perennial All-Stars with larger than life presence within the clubhouse and on the sector. A lefty-righty combo to be reckoned with.
Harper has studied the Sox farm system, so he knows about Jimenez.
So does Sox director of participant improvement Chris Getz.
“He’s a enjoyable talent to observe,” Getz stated. “What, his second at-bat in winter ball, he hits a grand slam? He doesn’t play for a few months and simply walks proper in there and does what he does.’’
Between Class AA Birmingham and AAA Charlotte in 2018, Jimenez batted .337/.384/.577 with 22 residence runs and 75 RBI. For Gigantes del Cibao in the Dominican Winter League, he was batting .448/.500/.759 by means of eight video games. Common manager Rick Hahn stated Jimenez will end up across the holidays.
“Eloy definitely has a chance to be a type of huge-time players that you simply see on each different membership, and perhaps just like a few of the guys we’re making an attempt to accumulate,’’ manager Renteria stated this week.
“I don’t need to call him a Corridor of Famer, as a result of that’s so much to put on a kid’s plate. However he has the talent set to probably be a really, very impactful front line main league player.”
As impactful as Harper?
“Absolutely,” Renteria stated. “And I feel it’s as a result of the expectation and the understanding of who he’s and what he’s about and the talent set that he brings to the table. We’re all excited concerning the prospects.’’
Renteria all the time lights up talking about Robert, who hasn’t performed above Class A however with higher defense and velocity may challenge a more properly rounded general upside than Jimenez. Defensively, Jimenez figures to be satisfactory at greatest.
Getz stated Jimenez profiles greatest in left area.
“Velocity is a…