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The Impact of Eloy Jiménez’s Bat

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The Big Baby been the centerpiece of Chicago’s scorching-hot streak

New York Yankees v Chicago White Sox Ron Vesely/Getty Images

Power like no other, that’s so effortless, comes from none other than Eloy Jiménez.

The Chicago White Sox have quite a few big bats in their lineup, as evidence from their 23 home runs so far in August. Just as the weather is truly heating up, so are the White Sox bats. And while no home run has been quite as big as Tim Anderson’s walk-off in the inaugural Field of Dreams game to help them beat a New York Yankees team that swept the Sox in June.

Anderson and fellow veteran José Abreu are without a doubt the power leaders of this very talented and exciting White Sox team, contributing nine of those 23 homers, helping the Sox win seven of their last 11 games and build an 11 12 -game lead in the American League Central and the sixth-best record in all of baseball. But no player is as important to this lineup as emerging young superstar, Eloy Jiménez, who suffered a fluke injury in spring training that looked like it could possibly put him out for the whole season.

Luckily for the White Sox, it didn’t, though.

Like most players would after coming back from a serious injury, Jiménez struggled in his first three games back towards the end of July in Kansas City, going just 2-for-11 with a homer and three RBIs. But the 24-year-old rising star has recovered mightily since then.

A flip of the calendar into August, with the weather heating up, helped Jiménez get hot as well, with him posting a .342/.375/.755 slash line to go with five home runs and 14 RBIs so far. He’s scored six runs, and nine of his 13 hits have been for extra bases.

Jiménez is also making a bunch of history in the process, as he became the first player in White Sox history with two-plus home runs and five plus RBIs in consecutive games. He also became the fastest in team history to 50 career home runs.

It hasn’t been a bad past five games, huh?

You want to know the real impact of Jiménez that he has shown since coming back? The White Sox are 4-0 in the games in which he has hit a home run since coming back from injury — in case anybody forgot how important his bat is to this team. Also remember that he only played in the final game of the AL Wild Card series last year with a nagging injury, and even at that the Sox were forced to take him out of the game after just two at-bats. If Jiménez would have been fully healthy, the White Sox might have won the series against Oakland to at least get into the ALDS, if not further.