Eloy Jimenez is looking to build off the strong September he had with White Sox last season

LaMond Pope, Chicago Tribune on

Published in Baseball

CHICAGO -- Eloy Jimenez was locked in last September.

The Chicago White Sox left fielder had a .340/.383/.710 slash line with eight doubles, nine home runs and 25 RBIs in the month to finish his rookie season with a flourish.

"At the beginning (of the season) I was just worrying about (how) I needed to play hard and I needed to do this and I needed to do that," Jimenez said during a conference call Saturday. "But at the end, I just said I'm going to play hard and if it's happening it's happening, if it's not, another day.

"I think that helped me a lot, that got me out of the pressure to just go and have fun. For me, that was the key last year at the end of the season."

Jimenez was named the American League Rookie of the Month for September. It capped a season in which he led all AL rookies in home runs (31), RBIs (79) and total bases (240). He became the 19th rookie in AL history to hit at least 30 home runs in a season, just the sixth time the feat had been accomplished since 1988.

Sox manager Rick Renteria said Jimenez is capable of picking up where he left off.


"His mindset is right," Renteria said Saturday. "You see him out there, he's moving around good. We're very optimistic that he's going to be able to continue what he's been doing. He's working out there."

First baseman Jose Abreu said a key for young players such as Jimenez is to "clear their mind."

"It's a challenge every day," Abreu said through an interpreter on Sunday. "He has talent. I think we all saw that last year. He's just going to improve and that's going to be good for us as a team and for him especially as a baseball player.

"I'm going to be there with him. If he needs something, whatever I can help him, I'm going to be there just to help him and support him. I think that's going to be a plus too, the same way I'm going to be there for Luis Robert."


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