‘A lot of jaws are going to drop' when Eloy Jimenez is in the Home Run Derby


CLEVELAND — The baseball world (and beyond) was enthralled with the show Vladimir Guerrero Jr. and Joc Pederson put on in Monday night’s Home Run Derby.

Baseball got to put one of its brightest young stars on display in Guerrero, and another of them won the thing in Pete Alonso.

But for South Side baseball fans, thoughts likely went to what it would be like if their own young slugger was participating in the annual event. What if Eloy Jimenez was swinging?

Well, fans weren’t the only ones thinking that. A guy sitting just a few feet from the proceedings at Progressive Field was thinking the same thing.

“That’s what I was saying during the first couple rounds, ‘Man, I can’t wait until Eloy’s in this thing,’” White Sox pitcher and American League All Star Lucas Giolito said Tuesday. “He’s going to make it fun. He hits all his homers to center field, it’s going to be ridiculous.

“I think a lot of jaws are going to drop when he gets the chance.”

Jimenez had a case to be in this year’s Derby, not that a case really needs to be built. Since the event started bringing in guys who aren’t even on an All-Star rosters, the biggest criteria seems to be dudes who can hit balls far. Well, Jimenez falls into that category, especially since making some recent adjustments and causing a whole lot of disturbance to the plant life over the center-field fence at Guaranteed Rate Field.

Jimenez similarly falls into the same category as Guerrero as a young star in the game. Both guys are rookies, and both aren’t far removed from being ranked as two of the top three prospects in baseball.

Jimenez is already a daily presence in the middle of the White Sox order, and fans can’t wait to see the ball explode off his bat. Imagine if he got to hit roughly 100 of those dingers in one night.

“I know Eloy could put on a show,” White Sox catcher and American League All Star James McCann said Tuesday. “I’m sure there are some other guys in the organization that could do that. Regardless, the talent that’s put on the field for that Derby, it’s second to none.”

It will be at least another year until Jimenez gets his chance. Obviously the White Sox and their fans would enjoy if he kept hitting home runs in games in the meantime.

But if Jimenez finds his way into the Home Run Derby at some point and Giolito is once again sitting on the field for the show, Jimenez already has a volunteer to bring him some Gatorade.

“Oh yeah,” Giolito said, asked if he’d be interested in the position.

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