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Refocused Jimenez nets honor with strong July

Top prospect hit .455 with a 1.311 OPS in month; Cease named Minor League Pitcher of the Month
MLB.com @scottmerkin

CHICAGO -- White Sox general manager Rick Hahn made a Wednesday visit to Triple-A Charlotte, home of the Knights and Eloy Jimenez, the organization's top prospect and the No. 3 prospect overall, per MLB Pipeline.

With the outfielder not in the lineup, the two had a chance to talk. But there was no conversation about an impending promotion to the White Sox for the 21-year-old, who is hitting .376 since moving from Double-A Birmingham to Charlotte.

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CHICAGO -- White Sox general manager Rick Hahn made a Wednesday visit to Triple-A Charlotte, home of the Knights and Eloy Jimenez, the organization's top prospect and the No. 3 prospect overall, per MLB Pipeline.

With the outfielder not in the lineup, the two had a chance to talk. But there was no conversation about an impending promotion to the White Sox for the 21-year-old, who is hitting .376 since moving from Double-A Birmingham to Charlotte.

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"I'm just working on the things that I know I need to work [on]," said Jimenez through interpreter Billy Russo during a Thursday conference call in honor of Jimenez being selected White Sox Minor League Player of the Month. "I can't get frustrated over things that I can't control.

"I can get frustrated when things don't go well on the field, because those are the things I can control. What happens off the field, I can't control."

Hahn spoke to the media about both Jimenez and Michael Kopech, the right-hander pitcher who is the White Sox No. 2 prospect, and the boxes they need to check off before getting the call to Chicago. Jimenez would appear to have answered quite a few of those questions with his play in July.

Jimenez hit .455 with five home runs, seven doubles, 12 RBIs and a 1.311 OPS in 14 games. He has returned strong from an adductor strain, and he stressed that he continues working on the intangibles he can control.

"The key for me in Charlotte has been being patient, calm, swinging at pitches in the strike zone and keeping my confidence," Jimenez said. "I have been working hard on my defense, same as with my offense. I'm trying to be more patient at home plate, trying to get some more walks.

"But I haven't changed anything. I've had the same goals since I started playing: just try to get better every day. In all the aspects of the game, try to improve. It has been the same approach for me since I started playing. I did the same thing in Double-A in the beginning of the season, and I'm just keeping the work going in Charlotte."

Jimenez's time this past offseason with Gigantes in the Dominican Winter League -- with whom he hit .368 with four home runs and 21 RBIs -- helped the acquisition from the Jose Quintana trade prepare for the advanced pitching seen in International League action. Hahn and Jimenez didn't really talk about that aspect of his game on Wednesday. There was just an exchange of pleasantries, with Hahn encouraging Jimenez to keep working hard as he pushes toward his big-league debut.

"When God thinks that the time is right, I'm going to be ready," Jimenez said. "I'm working to be there this year, but if the front office or somebody else doesn't think that I should be there, that is their decision. I'm going to be ready for when the opportunity arrives."

Cease takes home pitching honor
Dylan Cease, the No. 5 White Sox prospect and No. 45 overall per MLB Pipeline, was named the organization's Minor League Pitcher of the Month for July. The right-hander posted a 2-0 record with a 1.50 ERA over four starts for Birmingham, striking out 35 and walking nine over 24 innings.

Cease struck out 12 and allowed one hit on July 25 against the Tennessee Smokies, following up a 12-strikeout, two-hit effort for Class A Advanced Winston-Salem on May 1.

"With the one in Winston, that was more I had a good changeup that day," said Cease during a Thursday conference call. "My most recent one, it was my slider and curveball and fastball were really good and my changeup was pretty good. I had a little bit better feel my last one."

Since the promotion to Birmingham, Cease has gone to more of a spike curveball. That effective pitch has allowed Cease to get ahead early and also put hitters away late in the count.

Third to first
• No. 10 White Sox prospect Alec Hansen was moved Thursday from Birmingham back to Winston-Salem, per the Dash. Hansen topped the Minors with 191 strikeouts in 2017, but he has walked 42 against 35 strikeouts in 35 2/3 innings for the Barons since returning from right forearm soreness.

• Infielder Nick Madrigal and outfielder Steele Walker, the White Sox top two picks in the 2018 MLB Draft, were promoted one Minor League level as announced by the team on Thursday.

Madrigal, selected fourth overall by the White Sox, moved to Winston-Salem after hitting .341 with no strikeouts over 44 at-bats in 12 games for Class A Kannapolis. Factoring in Madrigal's brief time with the organization's Rookie-level Arizona League team, he has gone 57 at-bats without striking out.

Walker jumped up to Kannapolis after hitting .267 over 13 games between the AZL White Sox and Advanced Rookie-level Great Falls.

Nate Jones, sidelined since June 12 with a right pronator strain, played catch prior to Thursday afternoon's contest. The right-handed reliever suffered a setback in his injury rehab during the All-Star break and hadn't thrown in two weeks.

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

Chicago White Sox, Dylan Cease, Eloy Jimenez