Most of what’s been written about Eloy Jimenez revolves around his offensive potential, but he managed to let his glove do a little talking in the Futures Game in San Diego on Sunday evening too. His bat, however, ended up unleashing a primal scream.
With two outs in the bottom of the 7th and his World team losing 3-2, the Cubs prospect tracked a fly ball into foul territory in right. And he tracked. And he tracked. And he snagged the ball while nearly going ass-over-teakettle over the short wall down the first base line.
So that’s pretty awesome and was enough to overshadow what he’d done at the plate…for a minute or two. Jimenez entered the game in the 4th and got his first at-bat two innings later. With one on and two out in the 6th, South Bend’s star doubled to left to plate his team’s first run.
The World team took a 4-3 lead in the 8th on a Yoan Moncada (the game’s MVP) homer and had added four more runs by the time Jimenez came up for his third and final at-bat in the 9th inning. He had worked a full count prior to grounding out on a come-backer in his previous appearance in the 8th, but there was no such patience in play with two men on and his team already holding a big late lead.
Note to pitchers: Don’t throw this kid first-pitch strikes. Wait, no, forget that. Try to get ahead on him by piping fastballs every time. You know, like this:
Duuuude, that was absolutely mashed. Since Kris Bryant and Anthony Rizzo aren’t participating in the Home Run Derby this year, maybe Jimenez can just stick around and represent the Cubs. Or maybe he’ll just do that in a couple years.
That homer capped a 7-run inning and pushed the score to 11-3. Four of those runs came from Jimenez, who ended 2-for-3 with those extra-base hits and a pair of runs scored. And this guy’s still only playing in low-A ball and won’t turn 20 until late November. Oh, did I mention he’s 6-4, 205? Call me crazy, but I think there’s a little projection there. Like, mad crazy amounts of projection even.
I really want to get out and see this kid play against the overmatched competition at South Bend, but I’ve got a sneaking suspicion that he’s going to be pretty fun to watch at every level along the way.