White Sox rookie Eloy Jimenez was known throughout his time in the minor leagues for his prodigious power even as he was carving out a spot high on prospect leaderboards with his all-around batting production.
Since starting the season with Chicago, however, that long-ball potential hadn’t translated to MLB success. In his first 46 plate appearances, he notched just one extra-base hit.
On Friday, Jimenez broke through with a 425-foot home run to center field against Yankees relief pitcher Jonathan Holder, the first long ball of his career. He went deep again later in the game, also to center, against Chad Green. He became the first visiting player to hit his first career MLB home runs in the same game at Yankee Stadium since Manny Ramírez in 1993.
First career home run comes at Yankee Stadium.pic.twitter.com/VcRNzAoDyA
Eloy x 2.pic.twitter.com/n1OdQcKLhA
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Acquired from the Cubs for left-handed pitcher Jose Quintana in 2017, Jimenez was not expected to start this season with the White Sox. Many believed he would be held in Triple-A for part of April so Chicago could preserve another year of team control. Just before the campaign, however, Jimenez signed a contract extension that bought out his arbitration years, meaning he could start the year with the big-league club.
Eloy Jimenez has been waiting for this moment.
We caught up with the potential star at the end of last season: https://t.co/5Y22NernRQ pic.twitter.com/u9N2rjGpjY
Considering his .337/.384/.577 slash line in the minors last year, the majors are where he belonged. And while the White Sox are not expected to be competitive for some time after missing out on free agent Manny Machado, Jimenez’s presence alongside fellow graduated top prospect Yoan Moncada makes the team more watchable than it was a couple of years ago.
Two moonshots at Yankee Stadium certainly aren’t a bad way to start his MLB home run tally and signal what might be in store.
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