The Chicago White Sox promoted several of their minor leaguers on Thursday with the focus being on the number one prospect in their organization. Outfielder Eloy Jimenez was promoted to Triple-A Charlotte where he began play with the Knights Thursday night.
The promotion for Jimenez comes after he appeared in 53 games this season for Double-A Birmingham where he hit .317, slugged 10 home runs, and drove in 42 runs.
Jimenez is currently ranked as the third best prospect among MLB’s Top 100 Prospect List and leads the way for a White Sox team that has seven minor leaguers on the list. With his promotion to Charlotte, he is that much closer to making his MLB debut sooner rather than later. Barring injury, it is a safe to assume that he will be called up to the White Sox before the end of the 2018 season.
If he isn’t called up by either late July or August, Jimenez is almost a lock to be called up in September when teams are able to expand the roster.
As the White Sox currently have the third worst record in all of baseball, it is highly unlikely they will be in playoff contention when September 1st arrives. This would give Jimenez a good amount of games to gain valuable Major League experience without intense pressure to perform immediately. It would also give the organization a small sample size of what their top prospect’s strengths and weaknesses are heading into the offseason.
There is also the strong possibility that Jimenez could debut with the White Sox some point this summer and well before September. There have been several injuries to the White Sox outfield position this season which has tested the team’s depth. At least four outfielders have missed two or more weeks due to injuries whether including both the majors and at the Triple-A level. Another injury could force the organization to call Jimenez up even if they hadn’t planned to.
Trades are another factor when it comes to the possible promotion of Jimenez. Outfielder Avisail Garcia is expected to return from injury this weekend and was subject to trade rumors this past offseason due to his .330 batting average last season. If a healthy Garcia excels in his return, he could create trade value that the White Sox would not want to lose out on. If traded, it would open the door for the team to bring up Jimenez and have him start the rest of the season similar to what occurred with second baseman Yoan Moncada last year.
Although the White Sox are mired in a tough rebuild, the promotions of their minor leaguers today provides excitement moving forward. Fans are once more enticed anticipating when the prospects believed to the foundation of the rebuild will appear in a White Sox jersey. In Jimenez’s case, he is seen as one of the game’s future sluggers and sluggers always demand attention. Today’s roster changes, tease that excitement for what can soon be a stable on the South Side.