Through his first 72 plate appearances of the season, Eloy Jimenez has handled the transition to the Midwest League pretty well. Still just 19 years old, Jimenez has opened the season with a .277/.319/.400 line that mirrors very closely his .284/.328/.418 line from last year in Eugene. Reproducing effectively the same numbers at a higher level is a positive sign for a low level prospect.
In the peripheral department, his early season walk rate is a comfortable 6.9% (up from 6.0% a year ago), and his strikeout rate is a tolerable 26.4% (up from 17.2%). Same size alerts apply to all these numbers, but even if they didn’t, I don’t see anything here to worry about just yet. The strikeout rate is high for a Low A player, but he has the power to justify it and he really hasn’t had time to make any adjustments yet. I doubt he finishes the year with a K% that high (but it is possible). The general upward trend in the walk rate could be statistical noise, but if it holds up it could indicate that he is getting used to the strike zone and learning what pitches to drive and which ones to lay off.
We need more data, both in numbers and in video when the Cubs are at home, before we can infer any lessons from his performance with any kind of confidence, but for a teenager in the Midwest League is he off to a strong start. That is exactly what we were hoping to see from Jimenez this year.
- Pierce Johnson: 4.2 IP, 4 R, 6 H, 4 BB, 6 K
- Miguel Mejia: 1.1 IP, 3 K
- Felix Pena: 2 IP, 3 K
- Albert Almora: 2 for 4
- Matt Murton: 2 for 4
- Dan Vogelbach: 2 for 4, 2B
- Tim Federowicz: 1 for 4, 2B, SB
- Arismendy Alcantara: 1 for 4, 2B
- Jen-Ho Tseng: 6 IP, 2 R, 6 H, 2 BB, 2 K.
- Jacob Hannemann: 1 for 6, 3B, SB. He is up to 9 steals.
- Chesny Young: 3 for 4, 2 BB, SB. Young is up to 10 steals.
- Jeimer Candelario: 2 for 3, 2B, HR, 2 BB
- Victor Caratini: 2 for 3, 2B, 2 BB
- Mark Zagunis: 2 for 5
- Anthony Giansanti: 1 for 1, HR, BB
- Jonathan Martinez: 6 IP, 5 R, 9 H, 1 BB, 3 K
- Daniel Lockhart: 2 for 3, 2B, 3B
- Gioskar Amaya: 1 for 3, BB, SB
- Casey Bloomquist: 3 IP, 1 H, 2 K
- P.J. Higgins: 1 for 3, 2B, 2 BB
- Donnie Dewees: 1 for 3, 3B
- Eloy Jimenez: 2 for 4, 2B
- Eddy Martinez: 1 for 4, 2B, BB
- Daniel Spingola: 2 for 4, 2B
- Tyler Alamo: 1 for 4, 2B
- Jeffrey Baez pulled off an unusual feat for the Pelicans yesterday. Playing right field, Baez collected three outfield assists in the same game. One of those assists came at second, and the other two at third. The two at third were actually Baez gunning down the same player – the Nationals number eight prospect Andrew Stevenson.
- Candelario’s great day at the plate is definitely the biggest story from the Smokies win yesterday, but it is worth noting that Tseng (the pitcher) picked up his first hit during the Cubs rout.
- Baseball America has published a list of ten prospects who could receive an early promotion this season, and South Bend’s Donnie Dewees checks in at number ten.