SB Cubs slugger Jimenez displays big league power, patience
SOUTH BEND —
At 6 ''4, and over 200 pounds, South Bend Cubs slugger Eloy Jimenez stands out before he ever sets foot in the batter's box.
But it's not until you see him hit the ball, that you begin to understand his potential.
"Its just amazing to see what he's doing," Cubs manager Jimmy Gonzalez says. "What's impressive is his age, and how he's able to handle the bad days along with the good ones.."
So far in South Bend, there have been many more good days for Jimenez than bad. Especially lately. Born and raised in the Dominican Republic, Jimenez admittedly needed a little time to acclimate to the northern Indiana weather when he arrived in April.
"After first month when it warmed up, I felt more comfortable," Jimenez admits. "And I see the ball well."
And ever since he's warmed up, he hasn't cooled off!
Jimenez currently leads the Midwest League in doubles and extra base hits. He's 2nd in slugging percentage. And ranked in the Top five in home runs and batting average. In fact, his average hasn't dipped below 300 since May 10th, currently at a whopping 332.
"Its very fun," say Jimenez. "The first months were not too fun, because it was freezing. But it's fun to play here with the fans. We just play hard and the fans enjoy the game."
"You look at his numbers: Those numbers are some people's full season," Gonzalez exclaims. "At age 19, that's impressive."
Jimenez' youth makes his break-out season in South Bend all the more impressive. And perhaps best of all, he thrives on the big stage. Jimenez's 10 home runs don't include the one he hit to win the MWL all-star game a few weeks ago. Or the monster blast he hit Sunday night in the MLB Futures game - with the whole world watching!
At the rate and power with which Jimenez is hitting the ball, it seems to be not a question of if, but rather when we'll see him in the major leagues.
But until that happens, the 19-year old is happy in South Bend.
"Just try to play hard and don't worry what happens," Jimenez says.
It's working great so far.