Jimenez already looks like big league hitter

Kopech, Cease going through dominant stretch at Triple-A

August 12th, 2018

CHICAGO -- Mike Gellinger has worked with Hall of Famers Jim Thome, Ken Griffey Jr. and Frank Thomas at the big league level for the White Sox. So the organization's current Minor League hitting coordinator knows a thing or two about top-notch hitters.

, the No. 1 White Sox prospect and No. 3 overall prospect in baseball, per MLB Pipeline, would fall in that lofty category, although certainly not with the polish or experience of the aforementioned trio.

"He's a big league hitter," Gellinger told MLB.com of Jimenez. "He does a lot of great things.

"I do think that it's good that he's going through the whole process. I think it's going to pay off in the long run. But he's a big league hitter, no doubt. Hits the ball to all fields with power."

Not only does Jimenez, 21, look like a big league hitter, but Gellinger agrees he has a big league presence and knows he belongs. Jimenez launched his 10th home run for Triple-A Charlotte on Saturday, giving him a .335 average, .988 OPS, 20 homers and 64 RBIs between stops with the Knights and Double-A Birmingham this season. It's much more of a when and not an if in terms of when Jimenez arrives with the White Sox. But Gellinger, who has watched the after-effects of more than a few prospects accelerated to the Majors, reiterated Jimenez will benefit from this current plan.

"There's a process through the whole thing," Gellinger said. "In the big leagues, they are going to be consistent with the way they pitch. Every team, they all get the same information. The information is greater. He's going to get pitched to his weaknesses every night. Whether pitchers can do it or not, it's to be seen.

"In Triple-A right now, there might be only half the teams or three quarters of the teams are pitching him to that plan and doing those things toward his true weakness, because not every team is as detailed with their presence. So by him going through the whole process and seeing everybody, he's learning also, 'Oh, man, this team does this to me, they pitch me this way or they do that and try to get me out this way. I'm going to have to get better at that.'

"He's sharp. He knows it," Gellinger said. "He's a sharp cat when it comes to that."

Learning from Hall of Famers

Both Thomas and Thome mentioned Gellinger in their respective Hall of Fame speeches. Gellinger also was on hand Saturday night at Guaranteed Rate Field for Jim Thome Night, in recognition of Thome's recent induction.

The work with hitters such as Thome and Thomas became numerous lessons learned as well for Gellinger, who served as the White Sox MLB computer scouting analyst from 1997-2010, but worked as an unofficial but well-respected assistant hitting coach under Greg Walker.

"You learn as much from them as you do actually teaching them," Gellinger said. "You hear them talk and express how they feel and what they are going through, and those things carry over to you trying to think about what you can say to help them. Not always be on the right page, but you come up with stuff like, 'Wow that's interesting that they think that way.'"

No set pitching limits for young hurlers

White Sox manager Rick Renteria said there are no set innings limits yet placed upon young hurlers such as , and .

"We haven't really talked in depth about it," Renteria said. "I'm sure the next 10 days or so, two weeks, we might have some conversations with where we're at with that. Right now, we're just allowing things to unfold and see how they continue to progress."

Third to first

• Ken "Hawk" Harrelson, the White Sox iconic play-by-play television voice, was absent from the broadcast Sunday, as the White Sox announced Harrelson was under the weather. Harrelson is in his 33rd and final season, working primarily home Sundays. He is scheduled to do the game with Paul Konerko on Aug. 19, and A.J. Pierzynski on Sept. 2.

• Here's a look at right-handed pitcher , the No. 2 White Sox prospect per MLB Pipeline, over his last six starts for Triple-A Charlotte: 3-0, 1.89 ERA, 38 IP, 32 H, 8 ER, 3 HR, 4 BB, 50 K.

• And here's a look at right-hander , the No. 5 prospect, over his last seven: 2-0, 1.08 ERA, 41 2/3 IP, 20 H, 5 ER, 2 HR, 16 BB, 57 K.