Top prospect Jimenez visits Sox in Chicago

Outfielder, acquired in Quintana trade, hit .348 in 47 games since joining White Sox system

Top prospect Jimenez visits Sox in Chicago

CHICAGO -- Eloy Jimenez sat in the White Sox dugout Tuesday evening at Guaranteed Rate Field, but wearing jeans as a pregame guest and not as a part of the team's active roster.

In the mind of Major League Baseball's No. 6 prospect per, his time wearing the White Sox uniform is not too far away.

"I truly believe that I can be playing here right now," said Jimenez through interpreter Billy Russo. "Like I say, God's plan is perfect. The only thing I can do and handle is to work hard every day and try to do my best and try to learn about the game every day and put me in the best position to force them to make a decision.

"They are the ones who can have the power and in my case, in my mind, I'm ready. But I have to wait."

At the age of 20, and after being acquired from the Cubs as a featured part of the Jose Quintana trade the day before the second half began, Jimenez certainly made a solid big league case during the 2017 campaign. The outfielder was named the White Sox Player of the Month for August/September on Tuesday, hitting .345 with nine doubles, one triple, seven home runs, 19 RBIs and 21 runs over 30 games between Double-A Birmingham and Class A Advanced Winston-Salem.

Since joining the White Sox Minor League system, Jimenez has hit .348 with 16 doubles, one triple, 11 homers, 33 RBIs and 31 runs in 47 games. And this broadly-built young man has the personality and confidence to match his ability.

Is he quite possibly a star in the making amid the White Sox rebuild? A smiling Jimenez likes his chances.

"That's why I'm working hard every day," Jimenez said. "I want to be the best player on the field every time I go out. I don't want to be just another player. I want to be the best player."

"He seems like he's way older than 20," said White Sox assistant general manager Buddy Bell of Jimenez during a recent interview with "His at-bats are more mature. Makes the right plays on the bases. His positioning in the outfield is, you don't have to say much to him. If you do say something to him, you don't have to say it to him twice. I mean, a really, really good-looking player."

Michael Kopech, the top pitching prospect in the game and No. 11 overall, visits Guaranteed Rate on Wednesday. But on Tuesday, it was Jimenez talking with White Sox manager Rick Renteria, the coaching staff and players such as second baseman Yoan Moncada and pitcher Carson Fulmer.

It was Jimenez's chance to survey a ballpark where he soon might be putting up significant numbers.

"Part of my personality is, I like to have fun," said Jimenez, who will play winter ball in the Dominican Republic. "But at the same time, it's also because I don't want to get tense in the game. That's the way I can do better, just being relaxed. Try to slow things down on the field and just enjoy it.

"You have to have a plan and a purpose for every day. That's the way I like to work. That's the way I like to prepare myself."

Scott Merkin has covered the White Sox for since 2003. Read his blog, Merk's Works, follow him on Twitter @scottmerkin, on Facebook and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.