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Better pitching's no problem for still-hot Jimenez

Baseball's No. 2 prospect won International League Batter of Week
MLB.com

CHICAGO -- Eloy Jimenez, baseball's No. 2 overall prospect per MLB Pipeline, earned a promotion to Triple-A Charlotte in mid-June, and he continues to knock the cover off the ball despite better pitching.

Jimenez won International League Batter of the Week honors for July 16-22, and hit safely in 10 of his last 11 games with a .429/.442/.762 slash line, three home runs and five doubles. That includes July 20, when he had his first multihomer game in Triple-A and his first since April 22 with Double-A Birmingham.

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CHICAGO -- Eloy Jimenez, baseball's No. 2 overall prospect per MLB Pipeline, earned a promotion to Triple-A Charlotte in mid-June, and he continues to knock the cover off the ball despite better pitching.

Jimenez won International League Batter of the Week honors for July 16-22, and hit safely in 10 of his last 11 games with a .429/.442/.762 slash line, three home runs and five doubles. That includes July 20, when he had his first multihomer game in Triple-A and his first since April 22 with Double-A Birmingham.

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Additionally, Jimenez tallied back-to-back three-hit games for the first time this season during a weekend series with Pirates-affiliated Indianapolis.

The young slugger has only accrued 80 plate appearances in the International League, but he owns an OPS of 1.022 with five homers. Between Birmingham and Charlotte, Jimenez has hit .326 overall with 15 home runs, despite missing about 25 games this season with injuries.

Jimenez has only drawn five walks at Triple-A so far, but he has also struck out just seven times, including only twice over his past 12 games (48 plate appearances).

Here's a rundown of other notable White Sox prospect performances:

Nick Madrigal, SS, Class A Kannapolis
Madrigal, the White Sox top 2018 Draft choice and No. 4 overall selection, is off to a hot start in his professional career. The 21-year-old played in a handful of games in the Arizona League Rookie-level club before moving to Kannapolis, where he is hitting well.

It's been only five games, but Madrigal is 10-for-21 with two doubles, three RBIs and two stolen bases. He's also scored seven runs in his short time with the Intimidators and owns a 1.093 OPS. Madrigal has yet to strike out as a Minor Leaguer.

Michael Kopech, RHP, Triple-A Charlotte
Kopech had dealt with command issues for the better part of May and June, walking at least four batters in nine of 12 starts from May 6 to July 5. But his past two outings have seen significant improvement in that department.

The White Sox No. 2 prospect, and MLB's No. 10 overall prospect, has issued just one free pass in each of his past two starts against Rays-affiliated Durham and Red Sox-affiliated Pawtucket.

Against Durham, Kopech went six innings of one-run ball, giving up four hits and striking out 11. Against Pawtucket, he again went six innings, giving up two runs (one earned) on seven hits while fanning nine.

Kopech owned a 5.69 ERA during that unsightly two-month stretch and walked 47 hitters in 55 1/3 innings, but still kept his strikeout numbers up with 76 whiffs in that span.

Blake Rutherford, OF, Class A Advanced Winston-Salem
Rutherford, like Jimenez, has also put together a recent hot stretch down in the Carolina League.

The White Sox No. 7 prospect, and No. 80 prospect overall, has hit safely in eight of his past nine games, going .361/.439/.500 in that period with a double and two triples. Rutherford has also scored nine runs and has tallied two three-hit games.

This month, Rutherford is slashing .357/.438/.457, and leads Winston-Salem with six triples this season. Overall this year, he owns a .302/.349/.454 slash line with six homers.

Ian Hamilton, RHP, Triple-A Charlotte
Hamilton has seen continued success at the Triple-A level since his promotion from Birmingham last month.

The White Sox No. 18 prospect has thrown 13 1/3 relief innings so far, and he owns a 2.03 ERA with just three walks and 13 strikeouts. Hamilton's strikeout rate of 8.8 per nine innings with Charlotte is lower than his 12.1 mark in Double-A, but he's cut his walk rate in half with his new team thus far.

All three of Hamilton's runs allowed at Triple-A have come in one bad outing on July 15. He hasn't given up a run in each of his 12 other appearances.

Max Gelman is a reporter for MLB.com based in Chicago.

Chicago White Sox, Eloy Jimenez