When Will White Sox Call Up Eloy Jimenez?

The Super Two cut-off date is always top of mind in the case of top prospects.

Bruce Levine
May 24, 2018 - 4:12 pm
White Sox prospect Eloy Jimenez

Mark J. Rebilas/USA Today Sports

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By Bruce Levine--

CHICAGO (670 The Score) -- The White Sox's most prodigious young slugger may only be a handful of weeks away from arriving in the big leagues.

Outfielder Eloy Jimenez, the organization's top prospect, has been lighting up Southern League pitching at Double-A Birmingham and serving notice that he's ready for a mid-summer promotion. The 21-year-old Jimenez has a .328/.369/.602 slash line with eight homers and 29 RBIs in 32 games. The most impressive aspect of Jimenez's performance is that he's displayed a quality all-around approach at the plate, showing that he can use the entire field and be patient.

Combined with his makeup that the team praises, Jimenez is getting closer to the big leagues. The question, of course, is when that call-up comes. The first question is whether Jimenez needs to make a stop at Triple-A or if he'll go directly from Double-A to the big leagues.

"We have a saying that the very best players will force your hand to bring them up before some people project them ready," general manager Rick Hahn said back in April. "Eloy certainly may be one of those cases."

As always with top young prospects, the Super Two status that pertains to arbitration rules are a big consideration. Generally, players are eligible for salary arbitration after three years of big league service, but the top 22 percent of players with between two and three years of service are eligible for salary arbitration after two years. An extra year of arbitration can be significant for premier young talent, because their salaries escalate from year to year and thus have a compounding effect. A team can save millions by delaying the first big pay increase.

The Super Two cut-off date isn't set in stone until after the season. It usually falls in June, and if teams really want to be safe with a prospect, they play it safe in delaying the call-up.

In the case of Jimenez, a promotion in the latter half of July would almost certainly give them control of him at a minimum salary through 2021. That's the most likely timeline for Jimenez at this point.

"He can hit in the major leagues right now," a scout said. "He will hit for power and eventually have the plate discipline to take more walks. He needs work on his fielding. He will be an average left fielder with an average arm. This guy can be someone pretty special. He should be a .550 to .600 slugging (percentage) guy."

Bruce Levine covers the Cubs and White Sox for 670 The Score. Follow him on Twitter @MLBBruceLevine.