When the White Sox traded for Eloy Jimenez, they knew they were getting an already advanced, improving talent.
What they couldn't have known was just how rapidly he would continue to improve and just how advanced he already is. So far advanced, in fact, his manager at Class A Advanced Winston-Salem thinks he could hit in the Major Leagues right now.
Jimenez, the No. 2 White Sox prospect, homered twice, singled and drove in three runs Saturday night to power the Dash to a 12-7 win over Lynchburg at BB&T Ballpark. It was his first-multi homer game since May 2016 and brought his total in the White Sox system to eight, matching his total with Myrtle Beach in the Cubs system in 55 fewer at-bats.
Gameday box score
The 20-year-old Dominican has been on a tear since joining the Dash, hitting .380/.446/.750 in 27 games. Saturday's 3-for-5 showing extended his hitting streak to 11 games.
"I think he's ready for the big leagues right now," Winston-Salem manager Willie Harris said, "strictly with the way he carries himself and the adjustments that he makes.
"In the Major Leagues, they throw most of their pitches around the plate; it makes it easier to hit there. It's really hard to hit in A-ball with guys throwing 97 and 98 and they don't know where it's going. In the Majors, they have pinpoint control. They miss spots sometimes and that's when you make them pay -- and he can do that right now."
Video: Jimenez hits his second home run of the evening
Jimenez was much heralded as a top Cubs prospect before the season, and he delivered in the Carolina League to the tune of a .271/.351/.490 line in 42 games with Myrtle Beach. But he's been even better in the White Sox system, batting .400 (18-for-45) during the streak with 10 extra-base hits -- including four homers -- 12 RBIs and five walks.
"I mean, this kid's pretty impressive all the way around," Harris said, "not just because he hit homers tonight, but his makeup, his personality, the way he interacts with teammates, the way he carries himself around the clubhouse. He's the real deal, he's fun to watch and we're all excited to go to the ballpark just to be around him and see what he has for us on any given day."
Harris said Jimenez reminds him of some impressive sluggers, one of whom White Sox fans will be especially pleased to hear.
"He's got a little bit of two guys. I was talking about this other day -- I can see Miguel Cabrera in him at the plate and, obviously, that's his favorite player, that's who he tries to be like and what a great guy to choose. And also Magglio Ordonez. This guy, he's gonna be really good and I'm just excited for him and excited to see what he does in the future."
Jimenez was aided in the Dash's offensive outburst on Saturday by leadoff man Bryant Flete, who reached base four times with two doubles and two walks, as well as No. 10 White Sox prospect Zack Collins, who went 1-for-3 with an RBI and a walk.
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Lynchburg fought back with a 4-for-5 effort from Andrew Calica, one night after he went 3-for-3. Indians No. 10 prospect Willi Castro also contributed four hits, including three doubles.
Jonathan Raymond is a contributor to MiLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.