Not only are Kris Bryant’s ridiculous numbers at Double-A leading to speculation about when the Cubs will call him up, the slugging third baseman won the Southern League’s annual Home Run Derby last night too.
Bryant hit .355 with 22 homers, 20 doubles, and a 1.160 OPS in 68 first-half games, posting a .458 on-base percentage and .702 slugging percentage. And then he smacked 16 more homers in the Derby to beat out Diamondbacks first base prospect Jon Griffin for the title.
It would be difficult for any prospect to dominate a league more thoroughly than Bryant did in the first half at Double-A, but general manager Jed Hoyer has insisted that the Cubs have no immediate plans to call him up to the majors or even to promote him to Triple-A. So last year’s No. 2 overall draft pick will continue making life miserable for Southern League pitchers.
White Sox’ no. 1 prospect Eloy Jimenez is likely to be removed from Dominican Winter League play following a recent quad injury, Bruce Levine of WSCR-AM reports. While the injury happened fairly close to the end of Jimenez’s scheduled playing time this offseason, it’s still of some concern for the club as the 22-year-old outfielder continues to move closer to his major league entrance in 2019.
Jimenez made a considerable jump from Double-A Birmingham to Triple-A Charlotte in 2018. He obliterated the competition at both levels and capped his season with a combined .337/.384/.577 with 22 home runs, 75 RBI and a .960 OPS through 456 plate appearances. By season’s end, he not only topped the charts in the White Sox’ own farm system, but was ranked first among all outfield prospects and third among all MLB prospects (per MLB Pipeline).
This isn’t Jimenez’s first brush with injury, though he has yet to contract anything serious enough to slow his rocket-like ascent through the minors en route to his first major-league gig. The young slugger was sidelined for several weeks with a left adductor strain in July and suffered some late-season flu symptoms in August, but even with this most recent complication, remains on track for his debut in the spring of 2019.