White Sox

Eloy Jimenez in the Home Run Derby? White Sox rookie isn't thinking about it

Eloy Jimenez in the Home Run Derby? White Sox rookie isn't thinking about it

Eloy Jimenez is one of baseball's young up-and-coming stars, and he's got an awful lot of power.

So he's kind of a no-brainer for the Home Run Derby.

The annual home run hitting contest the night before the All-Star Game isn't quite as prestigious for participants as it once was, back when the likes of Ken Griffey Jr., Sammy Sosa, Mark McGwire and others of their era were involved on a yearly basis. A tweaked, tournament-style format — plus hometown sluggers Todd Frazier and Bryce Harper winning in Cincinnati and Washington, respectively — have made the event an entertaining watch again, but the inclusion of the game's biggest stars is always what draws eyeballs.

Yahoo Sports' Blake Schuster had a good idea: What better way to draw those young fans the game is always targeting than to fill this year's Derby exclusively with rookies? Who knows if Major League Baseball saw that piece or not, but two rookies have already been confirmed to participate: Pete Alonso of the New York Mets and Vladimir Guerrero Jr. of the Toronto Blue Jays. Cleveland Indians slugger Carlos Santana will be there, too. He's not a rookie by any stretch, but he is a member of the host team.

Jimenez would be a perfect inclusion, a fun-loving player with a mile-wide smile who hits baseballs really, really far.

The latter attribute was on display for the second straight game Saturday, when Jimenez crushed a ball halfway up the bleachers in left-center field during the ninth inning of an otherwise forgettable day at the yard for the White Sox, who were out-slugged by the visiting Minnesota Twins. The night before, his insurance-providing two-run blast in the bottom of the eighth ended up being the difference. And of course White Sox fans don't need to be reminded of the game-winning, broken-bat homer that beat the Cubs a little more than a week ago.

Jimenez has 14 home runs during his rookie season, with more than half of those coming in his last 25 games, a stretch that's seen him hit .308 and drive in 22 runs. After a slow start, with just three homers in his first 23 contests, he's got 11 dingers in his last 33 games and is suddenly on pace for around 34. That's not quite the outlandish 38 home runs predicted by this writer before the season started — hey, we were all caught up in Eloy Mania — but it's not far off. It's enough to warrant inclusion on one of the game's biggest stages.

But it doesn't sound like it's something that's taking up too much real estate in Jimenez's mind.

"Right now, I don’t worry about it," he said after Saturday's game. "If the time comes and I need to go, I maybe go. But right now I’m not worried about that."

His manager wasn't too keen on talking about the subject, either.

"That’s not a situation in which I have anything to do with," he said Saturday. "And there are certainly other guys that have been around and are doing the things they need to do to put themselves in that position.

"I don’t want to speak to how everyone views the necessity to do things like that. I'm more concerned on how we’re going to continue to improve him here. He’ll have plenty of time in the future to be a part of all that."

Certainly downsides of participating in the Derby have been well discussed throughout the years, and for a guy still trying to learn how to be a big league player, maybe throwing him into a swing-altering home run contest isn't the greatest idea, from the White Sox standpoint. They would surely prefer his mammoth home runs keep coming in games. And Renteria's right, if Jimenez becomes the kind of star player everyone believes he will, there will be opportunities to stand on the game's biggest stages in the future.

But with Lucas Giolito and James McCann expected to be named to the team when the rosters are revealed Sunday, what a coming-out party it could be for the rebuilding White Sox and their blindingly bright future to have Jimenez as part of the festivities, as well.

We'll have to wait and see. If not this year, though, perhaps in a Derby down the line.

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After short stint in the majors, White Sox send Zack Collins to Triple-A

After short stint in the majors, White Sox send Zack Collins to Triple-A

When general manager Rick Hahn has talked about bringing up key prospects, he says he wants those players to be able to come up to the majors and stay there. That won't be the case with Zack Collins.

The White Sox sent the catcher down to Triple-A Charlotte following Monday's 5-2 loss to the Royals. No corresponding move will be made until Tuesday, but it is expected Welington Castillo will return from his rehab stint and rejoin the White Sox.

Collins was called up on June 18, but only played in nine games with seven starts in his 28 days on the big league roster. Collins drew a pinch-hit walk in his first plate appearance at the Cubs on June 19. He then homered two days later in his first start in Texas.

After that, Collins struggled. He goes back to Charlotte after hitting .077 (2-for-26) with five walks, the one home run and 14 strikeouts in 31 plate appearances.

It's unclear if Collins had a chance to stick on the roster or if the plan was for him to go back to Triple-A once Castillo was ready to return. Collins certainly didn't do himself any favors at the plate, but he also didn't see regular playing time.

Collins, a first-round pick in 2016, was seen working out at first base in fielding practice before games, but he stuck to catcher and DH. He could have played some first base or DH when Castillo returned. However, the White Sox claimed A.J. Reed off waivers and he debuted after the all-star break. Reed has taken the at-bats at DH, leaving Collins without regular at-bats.

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White Sox prospect Luis Robert on fire fresh off promotion to Triple-A

White Sox prospect Luis Robert on fire fresh off promotion to Triple-A

Luis Robert has been promoted twice in 2019, but nothing has slowed down his red-hot season.

The 21-year-old Cuban has only played in five games for Triple-A Charlotte, but has skipped past the adjustment period and has been productive in all five.

After collecting two hits, a walk and two stolen bases on Monday, Robert is hitting .429/.500/.810 for the Knights. He has reached base at least twice in every game with Charlotte.

Robert has shown some versatility in his game as well. He hit four extra base hits in his first three games, including two home runs in his first game for Charlotte. In the last two he has added three stolen bases. One of the stolen bases on Monday didn’t require a slide.


With Eloy Jimenez coming into his own for the White Sox and Dylan Cease one start into his major league career, Luis Robert is the clear gem of the White Sox system currently. The outfielder is ranked as the No. 5 prospect in baseball by MLB Pipeline.

Charlotte’s BB&T Ballpark is known as a hitters’ park and Triple-A plays with the same baseballs that have been under fire lately for being juiced for hitters in the majors. It makes sense that Robert would put up big numbers, but it’s still an impressive start that has White Sox fans antsy for his call-up.

It’s just five games and the White Sox haven’t been in any rush with their top prospects, but Robert is showing that he isn’t that far away from being ready for MLB pitching.

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