(CBS) A 20-year-old native of the Dominican Republic and one of baseball’s top prospects, Eloy Jimenez continues to have dual focuses after last week’s trade from the Cubs organization to the White Sox.
He’s working on his baseball skills and his English skills. The former is what has often come so naturally. The latter is something he’s made quality progress in since debuting with the Cubs organization in 2014 and hopes to continue improving on as well.
“I learn, every day, something new,” Jimenez said of picking up a second language during an interview he had with Matt Spiegel and Barry Rozner on 670 The Score. “My English right now is kind of OK, but I know I can get better every day.
“That’s going to help me, because the hitting coaches and other staff working with me won’t need a translator. That is good for me. I’ll feel good about that.”
On the field, Jimenez cited plate discipline as one area he’s working on. He’s hitting .279 with eight homers, 37 RBIs and an .858 OPS in 45 games this season at high Class-A. He’s struck out 37 times and drawn 22 walks.
Asked when he thought he could be promoted to the big leagues, Jimenez responded by saying he felt he was getting close to ready but that he’d leave the timeline predictions up to the organization.
Jimenez has admitted that the trade from the Cubs to the White Sox surprised him, but he also has expressed his excitement for a new chapter.
“I was a little sad the first two days,” Jimenez said, noting the first two games he played for Winston-Salem were against his old Myrtle Beach teammates of the Cubs organization.
“That was kind of a little weird for me. At the same time, this was a big step for me in my career. I just say thanks … to the Chicago White Sox for giving me the opportunity.”
One of the first traits those close to Jimenez note about him is his warm, infectious personality — which he believes is even more likely to rub off on his new teammates as furthers his English skills.
“It’s just like me — that is my personality,” Jimenez said. “I try to be positive, in a positive mood all the time, a good mood, take the time for a smile all the time. That’s Eloy Jimenez.”