Eloy Jimenez is building quite a resume these past two months. He was named a Midwest League All-Star, won the midseason classic's Top Star Award, earned a trip to the All-Star Futures Game in San Diego and, to cap it off, has been named Midwest League Player of the Week for July 25-31.
The Cubs' No. 2 prospect went 15-for-25 (.600) with two homers, a triple, four doubles and 10 RBIs in seven games for Class A South Bend to highlight the latest group of weekly Minor League award winners. This is his second such award after winning for May 16-22, making him the circuit's first repeat winner this season.
No Minor Leaguer at any level had more hits or a higher average than Jimenez last week. Only Class A Advanced High Desert's Scott Heineman (1.767) had a higher OPS than Jimenez's 1.687.
"I think it's mostly been him keeping the same approach to work that he's had all year," said South Bend manager Jimmy Gonzalez. "There are obviously times when you're able to put up numbers with a good approach and times when you don't. I don't think there's any one thing he's done differently, but as time has gone on, he's matured as a player and made the right adjustments to situations. That part of his game has come up big time, and I think part of that goes into the numbers he's produced."
As his list of accolades proves, last week's level of production is nothing new for the 19-year-old outfielder. A year after he hit .284 with seven homers and a .746 OPS at Class A Short Season Eugene, the right-handed slugger leads the Midwest League with 33 doubles and a .923 OPS this season to go with his .342 average and 12 long balls in 93 games with the Cubs.
Those numbers have helped him climb from the No. 10 prospect in the Cubs system at the beginning of the season to No. 2, following MLB.com's midseason update. Previously outside the top 100, Jimenez is now ranked No. 31 overall (No. 8 among outfielders).
"He knows the way pitchers are going to pitch him now," Gonzalez said. "They're going to throw him more offspeed stuff, but he's staying back and using the opposite field.... He knows he's a power hitter who can hit the ball out of the yard anywhere, but he's taking his base hits to right field. That's why he's hitting what he's hitting. He might hit a bunch of homers, but only hit .250. Instead, he's doing this, and it's a testament to his dedication."
All the accolades have been gifts that keep giving as the teenager continues to gain confidence in his first full season. With one month left and the Midwest League playoffs still ahead for South Bend, the club will take as much as they can get from their esteemed slugger.
"Those trips to those games, they've told him, 'You're good, you can do this,'" said Gonzalez. "Even when I told him about the Futures Game, he was happy, but I don't think he realized what it was until he got back. The stadium, the fans, all that stuff. ... I had him when he was 17, and the fact that he's still 19 and doing this is still kind of amazing. It's fun to see that."
Here is a complete list of Minor League Players of the Week for the week of July 25-31:
International -- Taylor Motter, Durham (TB): .412/.565/.882, 5 G, 7-for-17, 2 2B, 2 HR, 8 RBI, 8 R, 6 BB, 1 K, 1 SB, 1 CS
Pacific Coast -- Doug Bernier, Round Rock (TEX): .462/.516/.808, 7 G, 12-for-26, 1 2B, 1 3B, 2 HR, 7 RBI, 5 R, 4 BB, 5 K, 1 SB
Eastern -- Andrew Benintendi, Portland (BOS): .478/.520/.957, 6 G, 11-for-23, 3 2B, 1 3B, 2 HR, 10 RBI, 7 R, 2 BB, 0 K, 1 SB
Southern -- Zach Vincej, Pensacola (CIN): .500/.583/.750, 6 G, 10-for-20, 3 2B, 1 3B, 2 RBI, 2 R, 3 BB, 5 K, 1 CS
Texas -- Franklin Barreto, Midland (OAK): .500/.500/.950, 5 G, 10-for-20, 3 2B, 2 HR, 5 RBI, 5 R, 1 BB, 2 K, 1 CS
California -- Scott Heineman, High Desert (TEX): .500/.588/1.179, 7 G, 14-for-28, 4 2B, 5 HR, 7 RBI, 15 R, 5 BB, 5 K, 2 SB
Carolina -- Yasiel Balaguert, Myrtle Beach (CHI): .406/.412/.719, 7 G, 13-for-32, 4 2B, 2 HR, 7 RBI, 7 R, 1 BB, 5 K
Florida State -- Reydel Medina, Daytona (CIN): .480/.500/.960, 7 G, 12-for-25, 2 2B, 2 3B, 2 HR, 7 RBI, 7 R, 1 BB, 6 K, 1 CS
Midwest -- Eloy Jimenez, South Bend (CHC): .600/.607/1.080, 7 G, 15-for-25, 4 2B, 1 3B, 2 HR, 10 RBI, 7 R, 2 BB, 5 K, 1 CS
South Atlantic -- Antonio Rodriguez, Kannapolis (CWS): .417/.417/.708, 6 G, 10-for-24, 2 2B, 1 3B, 1 HR, 7 RBI, 4 R, 0 BB, 6 K
New York-Penn -- Eli White, Vermont (OAK): .333/.424/.667, 7 G, 9-for-27, 3 2B, 2 HR, 5 RBI, 4 R, 4 BB, 8 K, 1 SB
Northwest -- Heath Quinn, Salem-Keizer (SF): .393/.414/.714, 7 G, 11-for-28, 3 2B, 2 HR, 8 RBI, 4 R, 1 BB, 5 K
Appalachian -- Blake Rutherford, Pulaski (NYY): .565/.583/.870, 6 G, 13-for-23, 3 2B, 2 3B, 0 HR, 0 RBI, 4 R, 1 BB, 3 K
Pioneer -- Ronnie Gideon, Helena (MIL): .450/.476/1.100, 5 G, 9-for-20, 1 2B, 4 HR, 6 RBI, 6 R, 1 BB, 6 K
Sam Dykstra is a reporter for MiLB.com. Follow and interact with him on Twitter, @SamDykstraMiLB.