Traded to the Chicago White Sox for Jose Quintana, former Chicago Cubs top prospects Eloy Jimenez and Dylan Cease continue working toward the bigs.
In any organization, the Major League roster is a constantly-evolving mix of players. As soon as the All-Star Break passes, the trade deadline hits. Before you know it, the September roster expansion headlines grab the attentions of fans – and the Chicago Cubs are no exception.
As quickly as the season passes by – so do players. Big league clubs adapt their rosters and prospect pool regularly. For example, a prospect can be mashing in Triple-A one night and then struggling to find time in the bigs the next. Some players have been drafted, developed and brought up for years in a specific franchise – only to wind up being traded to another club in a blockbuster deal.
It’s always fun to look back at a specific player to see where they ended up. After being traded this summer to the South Side, let’s check in on Eloy Jimenez and Dylan Cease.
The future is bright for the Chicago White Sox. Looking at the not-so-distant past, these types of trades can pay off in a big way.
Take a look at former AL MVP Josh Donaldson with the Toronto Blue Jays. The Cubs originally drafted him with the 48th overall pick in 2007.
But, Chicago dealt him to Oakland in the Rich Harden deal in 2008. Donaldson now is an established and powerful presence in the league for the Jays at the hot corner. Perhaps the former Cubs’ prospects are destined for greatness as well.
What’s Eloy been up to?
First, let’s note this was a sweet deal for both clubs. The Cubs received a controllable starting pitcher. The White Sox added to an already-impressive farm system.
Baseball America ranks Jimenez as the number 5 prospect in the league and Cease currently sits at number 83.
Since the trade, Jimenez manned the outfield for the Winston-Salem Dash, the White Sox’ Class A-Advanced club. Through 29 games, he swatted eight home runs, driven in 26 and is batting .345. He added 11 doubles, scored 20 runs and owns a .410 on-base percentage.
The 20-year-old Jimenez joined the Double-A Birmingham Barons on August 16. He quickly proved that his Dash stats are no fluke. Batting in the three-hole, he homered in his first ever Double-A at-bat. Then, he added a double in his second at-bat finishing 2-for-4 with a run scored and an RBI. The Dominican picked up three singles and two more RBI in his second game with the Barons and also swiped a bag.
How is Cease faring?
Since joining the Kannapolis Intimidators, the White Sox A-ball affiliate, Cease has gone 0-6 in six starts. Even though his ERA has inflated to 4.74, his power arm is still rampant. He struck out 33 batters in 24 2/3 innings of work. His walk rate is moderate, surrendering 14, but he’s yet to allow a home run. The 21-year-old Georgia native is touted for his heavy fastball, which tops out at 98 miles per hour.
What’s their Major League ETA?
Cease and Jimenez are on the right path to provide the White Sox with a formidable punch in the coming years. The South Side club is sitting in prime position to contend for a long time in the coming years.
Jimenez is expected to arrive in the Majors in 2019 where the hulking 6’4,’’ 205-pound outfielder is expected to be a top-of-the-lineup type contributor. Cease is also expected to join the White Sox in 2019. But, he needs to show more trust in his change-up to balance his powerful heater and his wipeout curveball. He’s expected to be a reliable third or fourth starter in the future rotation of the White Sox.