Top Chicago Cubs prospect Eloy Jimenez has been more or less on the shelf since the middle of Spring Training after injuring his shoulder. The Cubs worked him back slowly through extended Spring Training, careful to play it safe with the 20-year-old outfielder whose bat draws not infrequent comparisons to Giancarlo Stanton (and Jimenez has the exit velocity to back it up). Jimenez doesn’t need to be rushed through the minors, and, given his tremendous upside, the Cubs are going to be very deliberate with his development.
Against that backdrop, and now fully-recovered, Jimenez made his season debut on Sunday, playing well in both ends of a doubleheader. He did not, however, hit a monster bomb, which my greedy heart says was simply wrong.
So Jimenez righted that wrong immediately in his very next game, crushing a no-doubter last night for the High-A Myrtle Beach Pelicans:
— MyrtleBeachPelicans (@Pelicanbaseball) May 16, 2017
Why did you even move, Mr. Left Fielder?
Jimenez is a top ten-ish prospect in all of baseball, and is looking to continue the offensive breakout he started last year at South Bend in his first full season league. Given his late start to the year, it’s possible he’ll remain at High-A for the duration, but it’s equally possible that he shows his bat is simply too advanced for the level and needs another challenge by midseason. Of note: Jimenez was intentionally walked twice in one of the games on Sunday, his first day back from injury. When you’re already getting that kind of respect from pitchers at High-A, it can make development a little challenging.
Wherever he winds up for the year, I’m very much looking forward to watching Eloy rocket shots all over the yard, and dreading the midseason trade rumors that are certain to pop up.