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Top White Sox prospect Jimenez haunts Cubs

Begging for at-bat against former club, he rips go-ahead 2-run HR
Special to MLB.com

MESA, Ariz. -- Eloy Jimenez, the No. 1 White Sox prospect and baseball's No. 4 prospect according to MLB Pipeline, made his presence felt in a big way Saturday against the Cubs.

With the White Sox trailing, 3-2, in the eighth inning, Jimenez came off the bench to hit a go-ahead two-run homer in an eventual 4-4 tie.

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MESA, Ariz. -- Eloy Jimenez, the No. 1 White Sox prospect and baseball's No. 4 prospect according to MLB Pipeline, made his presence felt in a big way Saturday against the Cubs.

With the White Sox trailing, 3-2, in the eighth inning, Jimenez came off the bench to hit a go-ahead two-run homer in an eventual 4-4 tie.

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Jimenez, who had been held back in Spring Training by a tender left knee, was begging manager Rick Renteria in the dugout to get an at-bat against the Cubs, his former team.

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"I was asking him the whole game," Jimenez said. "[Renteria] said, 'OK, let's do it.'"

Jimenez, whose drive to right-center came on an 0-2 breaking ball by Cubs righty Cory Mazzoni, said he was not thinking homer when he stepped into the box.

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"I just went to home plate thinking of hit the barrel of the bat," he said. "And it happened."

He said it was not a dream come true.

"Not yet. Whenever I'm playing in the Majors, that will be my dream," Jimenez said.

The White Sox acquired Jimenez in the Jose Quintana deal last year.

"I think he'll become really good," Cubs manager Joe Maddon said. "With good health, this kid will be outstanding. The combination of skill and who he is, I really liked him as a person, I liked talking to him. He is very mature and he speaks really well. He comes from an educated background. I really wish him well. I was very impressed. I don't want to say he's a 'can't miss' because nobody's a 'can't miss,' but he has a chance to hit some homers, especially in that ballpark."

Jimenez is scheduled to make his first Cactus League start Sunday, when the White Sox face the D-backs at 3:05 p.m. CT in an exclusive video webcast.

Alan Eskew is a contributor to MLB.com.

Chicago White Sox, Eloy Jimenez