White Sox Twitter has been getting a little restless over the past few weeks about Eloy Jimenez. Fans, both casual and lifelong die-hards, are wondering when the organization’s top prospect will be called up, and for good reason. Eloy is currently slashing .376/.423/.693 with an OPS of 1.116 in 27 games in Triple-A. He has been on a tear, and us fans just want to know when we will be able to watch him at the big league level.
Rick Hahn undoubtedly stirred the pot a bit more when he said in an interview that Kopech and Jimenez need to “check some more boxes” before they are called up. This ambiguous statement startled an already eager fan base.
White Sox Twitter had a field day with this comment, “checking boxes” at every turn. Here are some of my personal favorites:
And of course, #FreeEloy is also trending in the White Sox twitter-sphere.
We have been told there are boxes that still to be checked, but what are they? The boxes I think might still need to be checked are the following:
[ ]—Increased Sample Size
The sample size of Eloy’s Triple-A stats is small. People are demanding his promotion as he flirts with a .400 batting average, but he has only been up for 27 games. To put this in comparison, Yoan Moncada was in Triple-A for 80 games before his promotion last year. However, Eloy did also post good numbers (.317/.368/.556) in Double-A, suggesting that this box means a little less. Rick Hahn might just want to see what happens when he has off days and how he handles them mentally and if that aspect of his game is Major League ready.
[ ]–Face Adversity/Recover from a Slump
The second box that might need to be checked involves facing adversity. Eloy has played out of his mind this year in the minors and hasn’t really fallen a “slump” at the plate. Rick Hahn might want to be patient with Eloy and see how he deals with a long stint of failure. This may not happen for a while and a lot of Sox fans, myself included, might argue that he should face adversity in the big leagues, where he is surrounded by seasoned veterans to guide his path. Think about it, would you rather have Eloy go through a slump alongside Trayce Thompson or Jose Abreu?
[ ]—Be Healthy and Stay Healthy
The third box is Eloy’s health. Earlier in July, Eloy strained his left abductor muscle and was sidelined for a few weeks. Rick Hahn might still want to see how he deals with coming back from this injury (though it has been great so far) and see if re-injury is a possibility. White Sox fans would be pissed if Eloy was placed on the DL just days after being called up.
A few other potential boxes our team thought of are fundamental development boxes like at-bat quality and defense. Tim Anderson and Yoan Moncada dealt with high strike out counts and errors in their first years in the big leagues. Rick Hahn might be keeping Eloy in Triple-A right now to make sure when he comes up he can compete with these big league pitchers and can make big league plays. He is close.
If you ask me, he’s ready. A lot of his development that is yet to come would be better conducted with big league coaches and veteran players. Eloy is making a mockery of Triple-A pitchers, and I think his development is flat lining until he is exposed to MLB pitching. Obviously Rick Hahn does not agree with me on this at the moment, so all we can do as Sox fans is wait, watch, and pray for the league.