Eloy Jimenez had himself a big final month of the 2019 season.
The White Sox rookie capped his first year in the majors hitting .340/.383/.710 with nine homers and 25 RBIs in September, earning himself AL rookie of the month honors Monday.
That was something really special to see from Jimenez, whose rookie campaign was an up-and-down affair as he dipped his toe into big league waters for the first time. But as the season wound down and Jimenez's bat only heated up, it became clear that a pair of extended stays on the injured list might have had a good deal to do with him finding his footing throughout the year. If he was consistently healthy, there's no telling what sort of consistent success he might have had.
Jimenez finished the season with a .267/.315/.513 slash line and a whopping 31 home runs. Again, had he not missed time with the two injuries — a high ankle sprain and an ulnar nerve contusion, both the result of anything-but-textbook plays in the outfield — he might have soared all the way to the 40-homer mark.
"Fantastic rookie season," manager Rick Renteria said of Jimenez on Sunday. "There are a lot of rookies across the major leagues right now that are exploding onto the scene and doing great things. He's one of them.
"I think the two stints on the IL took some games away from him, but he continued to learn, grow, improve, take the experiences he was gaining. He worked extremely hard on both sides of the ball to try to put himself in a good position.
"Still more work to be done, but certainly has put him in a position where he can help us win ballgames."
As positive a sign for the 2020 season and beyond as Jimenez's September was, he was just one of a quartet of core White Sox hitters who caught fire at the end of the season. Jimenez, Jose Abreu, Tim Anderson and Yoan Moncada combined to slash .353/.400/.612 with 21 homers, 70 RBIs, 78 runs scored and 32 doubles in September.
That group, along with Luis Robert and a potential impact bat added this offseason, are expected to make up the most dangerous part of the White Sox lineup next season, providing plenty of optimism that 2020 could be the year in which the team makes its long-awaited transition from rebuilding to contending.Click here to download the new MyTeams App by NBC Sports! Receive comprehensive coverage of your teams and stream the White Sox easily on your device.