With the White Sox season over, we're looking back on the top 10 moments of the club's minor league season. We'll unveil one per day for 10 days, showcasing each moment in chronological order.
The moment: The Durham Bulls use four outfielders against Eloy Jimenez, and the shift works to perfection, Aug. 28.
This isn't exactly a positive moment on the field for the White Sox prospect in question, Eloy Jimenez. However, it shows what other teams think of the organization's top prospect.
Jimenez was in the middle of destroying the International League when the Durham Bulls did something a bit different. The Bulls used four outfielders, moving second baseman Micah Johnson (a former White Sox and Charlotte Knights player) to the outfield. That's definitely something different as far as defensive shifts are concerned.
The thing with Jimenez is he does hit the ball to all fields for power so a simple right-handed pull-hitter shift wouldn't be ideal.
Naturally, Jimenez hit it to Johnson in right-center. It probably would have gone into the gap for a double. Instead it went in the box score as a pop out to second base (which might be the best part of this).
It wasn't like Jimenez had been torching the Bulls throughout the season. He was only hitting .310 (9-for-29) against the Bulls entering that game. Jimenez did enter that game hitting .378 and went 7-for-8 in the previous two games (not against Durham), which is probably enough to warrant a comical shift.
Jimenez's season: A team using four outfielders to try to stop Jimenez shows how well Jimenez's season went.
The Dominican outfielder began the season in Double-A Birmingham, where he played the final 18 games of 2017. He hit .317/.368/.556 with 10 homers and 27 extra base hits in 53 games before getting promoted to Charlotte after playing in the Southern League All-Star Game (which the Barons hosted). Fun fact: .317 is the lowest batting average Jimenez has had in any of his four stints with White Sox minor league affiliates.
Once in Charlotte, Jimenez just kept rolling. The 21-year-old hit .355/.399/.597 with 12 homers and 26 extra base hits in 55 games. Pretty good.
As the season went on and he continued to destroy the ball, the story became when Jimenez was going to get called up. The White Sox held off on bringing him up, which means Eloy watch will continue into 2019.