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Jimenez's father reflects on prospect's journey

Outfielder's dad: 'It's an honor for us to have a son like him'
@scottmerkin
March 23, 2019

GLENDALE, Ariz. – When Eloy Jiménez was a kid, he was very hyper. It was that hyperactivity that led Jimenez to sports and eventually pushed him to Saturday’s news conference at Camelback Ranch announcing a six-year, $43 million deal with the White Sox, including two option years potentially taking the

GLENDALE, Ariz. – When Eloy Jiménez was a kid, he was very hyper.

It was that hyperactivity that led Jimenez to sports and eventually pushed him to Saturday’s news conference at Camelback Ranch announcing a six-year, $43 million deal with the White Sox, including two option years potentially taking the deal to $75 million.

The information concerning Jimenez’s youth came from Luis, his father, who attended the news conference along with the top prospect's mother, Adelaida and brother, Cesar “Enoy,” who also is player within the White Sox organization.

“We went to a psychologist and they said, 'Hey, you need to put him in to play some sports,’” said Luis, through interpreter Billy Russo. “At age 9 or 10 we put him to play some sports. It was a good thing for him because he could drain all that energy, and the rest you've been able to see.”

Jimenez has talked quite a bit about the highly positive influence provided by his family and the closeness he feels with them. That feeling is very mutual, with Luis referring to Eloy as not just a son, but a friend.

“We're able to talk with him about everything, not just in the good moments but the bad moments when people really need help,” Luis said. “We're able to communicate and talk about those issues, those struggles or tough moments. We're always together. We're supporting him no matter what.

“He's a nice kid and what matters most for us is we have that relationship. It's more like a friendship than a son, because we have that trust and that's what matters for us and we feel really proud. It's an honor for us to have a son like him and we want to thank God for that.”

Saturday marked a continuation of the family’s celebration regarding Jimenez’s new deal. They will all be in attendance for his first game, most likely on March 28 in Kansas City, and plan to follow their son every step of the way.

“Just to see him reach his dream,” Luis said. “It won't be just to see him in person, but watching him through the TV is going to be very special, something that will have a huge impact on us.”

Jimenez not feeling any pressure

Maybe the only "timing" issue Jimenez was feeling during his 4-for-26 Cactus League struggles was the timing of getting his new contract finished. With that deal behind him, Jimenez walked once and went 3-for-3 with a home run in Saturday’s 5-1 win.

“Now that the contract negotiation is done and I know that I’m going to fulfill my dream of playing in the big leagues, I don’t have any distractions on my mind,” Jimenez said. “People are going to really see what I’m capable of doing because the only thing I have on my mind is to play baseball like I know I can do it. Today’s game was just an example.

“During the game, I felt good, my swing was good. I was seeing the ball very good and I hit it hard. Today was a good day on and off the field. One of the best days that someone can have.”

Locking down the young core

Young teammates of Jimenez, such as Yoan Moncada or Reynaldo Lopez, as a few examples, could be candidates for similar long-term deals with the White Sox.

“We’re going to continue down this path,” White Sox general manager Rick Hahn said. “This is just one element of what we are trying to put together, but being able to create economic flexibility and extend control are important parts of extending out this championship window once it arrives. We’ll continue to be on the lookout for similar types of opportunities.”

Delmonico optioned

Outfielder Nicky Delmonico was optioned to Triple-A Charlotte prior to Saturday’s win over the Dodgers. Delmonico sustained a concussion on March 7 after colliding with the left-field fence at Camelback Ranch while chasing a Manny Pina fly ball. Delmonico finished 6-for-23 over 12 games this spring.

The move seems to all but set the White Sox position player side of the Opening Day roster. Their outfield should feature Jimenez and a combination of Leury Garcia, Jon Jay, Adam Engel and Daniel Palka, while the bench will include Jose Rondon.

Jay on the mend

Jay has been bothered by a sore right hip and has not played since March 13, but manager Rick Renteria expects him to break camp with the team.

“He’s been really, really active,” Renteria said. “We are not concerned about it. If something were to occur to him that he wasn’t on the roster, I would be surprised just like everybody else. But right now, he looks really good.”

They said it

“We are trying to keep away the 34-inch HD TV for Cactus League MVP from him.” -- Renteria on Garcia’s great Cactus League showing

Up Next

Rookie reliever Zach Thompson gets the start Sunday against the Indians in the final 2019 Cactus League contest for the White Sox. The first pitch is scheduled for 2:05 p.m. CT at Camelback Ranch and will be broadcast on NBC Sports Chicago. Reynaldo Lopez, who is the No. 2 White Sox starter, will get his work during a Minor League contest before making his regular season debut Saturday in Kansas City.

Scott Merkin has covered the White Sox for MLB.com since 2003. Follow him on Twitter @scottmerkin and Facebook and listen to his podcast.