Eloy Time Coming

Dylan Burris covers the most interesting hitters from Monday.

Eloy Jimenez (CWS): 2-4, 2 HR, 2 R, 5 RBI, BB.

I think Eloy Jiménez is doing just fine.

A groin injury just several days into his triumphant return delayed the inevitable, but after starting seven games in a row it looks like he’s finally getting back into his groove. Sunday, Jiménez humiliated his former team on primetime television, piling on 10 total bases in the form of two long balls and a double to finish with five RBI against the hapless Cubs. Yesterday, he belted home runs in each of the first two innings off Beau Burrows as the Sox routed the Twins to kick off the series in Minnesota, finishing the day 2-4 with two home runs, 5 RBI, and a walk for good measure.

After missing the bulk of the season thanks to a torn pectoral tendon, it’s looking like fears that the injury would sap some of his trademark power were, well, a bit unfounded. Back-to-back multi-homer games tend to do that. So then, what can we expect the rest of the way?

The young slugger has already collected five home runs in his first ten games of the season and over the last two months could be a league-winner for fantasy managers. His plate discipline could stand to improve, but as long as he keeps hitting for power it won’t matter too much—and there’s no reason to think he’s lost any of his power. What’s more, hitting in the heart of an absolutely loaded White Sox lineup means Jiménez will rack up quite a few RBI in his abbreviated season.

If there’s any cause for concern, it’s for next season. With just a few months of play, there’s a decent chance Jiménez doesn’t reach the number of starts necessary to be outfield-eligible, reducing his fantasy eligibility to that of Nelson Cruz or Yordan Alvarez. He’s still plenty valuable, but with only a few more series against NL teams left in the season, he’s likely to occupy the DH spot in the White Sox lineup for the foreseeable future.

But hey, who cares about the future? He’s got four home runs in the last two games. If you’re lucky enough to have him on your roster right now, just sit back and ride the way. It’s been a long time coming.

Let’s see how the other hitters did Monday:

Jonathan India (CIN): 1-4, 2B, 2 R, BB, SB.

Despite the return of Mike Moustakas, it appears Jonathan India has the 2B job locked down. It’s great news for fantasy managers who don’t want the good times to stop rolling with the Reds’ leadoff man, who is slashing .304/.418/.609 with seven home runs and a 170 wRC+ since the All-Star break. With the Reds fighting for a wild card and India raking, he could be a huge source of production down the stretch.

Whit Merrifield (KC): 0-5, R, BB, SB.

It’s been a rough year for Whit, who is underwhelming with a .266/.313/.384 slash line, good for a disappointing 89 wRC+. He does lead MLB in stolen bases with 31 on the year, but it isn’t even coming with a good batting average. He’s currently having the worst offensive season of his career and his power seems to have been sapped. It’s tough but with the stolen bases you have to keep starting him, even if he doesn’t provide a whole lot else at the moment.

Luke Voit (NYY): 2-5, HR, R, 2 RBI.

With the Yankees unable to move Voit at the deadline and acquiring two more power hitters, Voit’s spot in the lineup is considerably murky over the final two months of the season. If he’s starting there’s a solid chance he performs like this and smacks a homer, but unclear playing time is a huge hit to his value over the rest of the season.

Lewis Brinson (MIA): 2-4, HR, 2 R, 2 RBI.

Over the last eight games, Brinson is slashing .414/.452/.759 with four doubles and two homers. Granted, three of those eight games were at Coors, but it’s still an encouraging sign for the former first-round draft pick. The strikeout and walk rates don’t suggest there’s a whole lot of lasting power here, but it’s worth remembering Brinson is still just 27 years old and there’s still plenty of time to adjust his approach. I wouldn’t grab him yet, but keep monitoring him to see if this success is sustained.

Amed Rosario (CLE): 4-5, 2B, 3B, 2 R, RBI.

A big game for Rosario, who is on a bit of a tear lately. Over his last 14 games, Rosario is slashing .375/.413/.571 with six doubles, 10 runs scored, and three stolen bases. Solidified as the No. 2 hitter and starting shortstop for Cleveland, Rosario can provide you with some runs (he is batting just ahead of José Ramírez and Franmil Reyes, after all) and the occasional stolen base as well if you need a shortstop replacement.

José Ramírez (CLE): 2-4, 3B, HR, 2 R, 3 RBI, BB.

Speaking of José Ramírez, that guy is pretty good, huh? He’s up to 25 home runs on the year alongside 13 stolen bases and there’s no reason to think he won’t keep chugging along. He’s stuck in an underwhelming lineup but he can produce plenty on his own, so he should remain one of the top fantasy players the rest of the way.

Yoán Moncada (CWS): 2-5, HR, 2 R, RBI.

Moncada’s nice bounce-back season continues, belting his 10th homer on the year. The White Sox lineup only gets more deadly and Moncada’s elite OBP skills (he ranks seventh in the league in walk rate among qualified players) will keep him scoring runs regardless of where he’s situated in the lineup. I still think there’s more power to be unlocked for Moncada, but even this version of him is still pretty valuable.

Luis Robert (CWS): 2-5, 2B, RBI.

The White Sox get yet another dangerous bat back in the lineup with the return of Luis Robert, who went 2-5 with an RBI double in his first game back. Robert will probably hit late in the order for a good chunk of games (but could hit second in plenty, too!), but even so his power/speed combination makes his fantasy ceiling sky-high.

Tim Anderson (CWS): 3-5, HR, 2 R, 2 RBI.

I’m an unabashed Tim Anderson fan and while he hasn’t had quite the same level of production this season as he has the last two, he’s still hitting .300 with a 115 wRC+. Even more importantly, he’s batting leadoff for a team that’s going to score a lot of runs the rest of the way. Anderson should top 20 stolen bases on the season, which would mark the second-highest total of his career. Did I mention the White Sox are good?

Eric Hosmer (SD): 2-3, HR, 3 R, 2 RBI, BB.

After a few down years, it looked like Hosmer had turned things around in 2020. That’s fallen a bit flat, as he’s returned down to a roughly average offensive player. He has the lowest ISO of his career right now, but it comes along with the lowest strikeout rate since his dominant 2017 season as a Royal and the highest walk rate he’s had in several years. I wouldn’t count on it, but it does feel like he’s just one or two adjustments away from being a productive offensive player. Unfortunately, the Padres have an embarrassment of offensive riches so consistent playing time may be difficult to come by.


Featured Image by Ethan Kaplan (@DJFreddie10 on Twitter)

Dylan Burris

Dylan has been a lifelong Chicago Cubs fan since 2015. A graduate of the University of North Carolina, he devotes most of his non-baseball attention to college basketball.

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