White Sox option top prospect Jimenez to Triple-A after poor spring

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The Chicago White Sox optioned outfielder Eloy Jimenez - the No. 3 prospect in baseball, according to MLB Pipeline - to Triple-A Charlotte on Wednesday, the team announced.

The demotion follows a poor spring performance for Jimenez, who was trying to replicate last year's eye-opening Cactus League campaign and force his way onto the Opening Day roster. But he hit just .154 (4-for-26) with three extra-base hits, nine strikeouts, no walks, and a stolen base over his nine spring games.

"It's going kind of a little bit tough with my timing, but I know it's there," Jimenez said Sunday, according to Madeline Kenney of the Chicago Sun-Times. "It's just that I feel a little impatient. I was, like, just a little bit anxious."

The White Sox acquired Jimenez from the crosstown rival Cubs in July 2017 for pitcher Jose Quintana. The outfielder slashed .337/.384/.577 over 108 games split between Double-A and Triple-A last year.

Despite his disappointing spring, Jimenez is not expected to be long for Charlotte and could find his way to the South Side by the end of April.

As with many top baseball prospects, the 22-year-old is likely to have his service time manipulated by the White Sox now that he's back in the minors; by leaving him in the minors for the first several weeks of the season, the team can gain an extra year of control and delay his free agency.

MLBPA executive director Tony Clark has spoken out against service-time manipulation on several occasions this spring and did so again Wednesday, hours before the Jimenez news broke.

"We believe it's hurting the industry," Clark said while visiting the New York Mets' camp in Florida, according to Matt Ehalt of NorthJersey.com.

Jimenez was one of several players cut from White Sox big-league camp Wednesday. Other notables reassigned within the organization included prospects Dylan Cease and Luis Robert.

White Sox option top prospect Jimenez to Triple-A after poor spring
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