From one good hitter to another, Andrew Vaughn is impressed by what Eloy Jimenez can do, and what he’s doing lately. And envious.
“He’s a freakish hitter,” Vaughn said. “His bat to ball skills are impressive. A phenomenal hitter, and you have the strength he does, he’s going to hit the ball out of the ballpark.”
There are the 423-foot shots to left center like the one against Rockies righty Chad Kuhl in a 4-2 win Tuesday. And there are opposite field pokes, “like the one he hit in Oakland against the lefty [A.J. Puk],” Vaughn said. “[Bleep], he just flipped one out to right field.”
The latter sparked a five-run rally in the ninth inning, perhaps the Sox’ biggest win of the year.
With the Sox trying to chase down AL Central leading Cleveland in the final 20 games, Jimenez entered Wednesday’s afternoon game against the Rockies batting .500/.516/1.000 with four home runs, 12 RBI and seven runs during a seven-game hitting streak.
Since the All-Star break he is hitting .366/.436/.610 with 11 homers, 32 RBI and a 1.046 OPS in 48 games.
“It almost seems effortless,” Vaughn said. “He has effortless power. He can hit the ball to right field as far as some left-handers can pull the ball. It’s special to see him locked in.”
Jimenez in his post-surgery condition after tearing his hamstring in April is now a full-time designated hitter, a spot he doesn’t like but is adapting to.
“I need to find a way to be there for my team,” Jimenez said. “Whatever it takes to keep my focus on what I need to do, and try to do my job. I still don’t like it but that’s my job. It is what it is.”
Jimenez and hitting coach Frank Menechino agree: the hot streak is primarily the result of swinging at strikes and chasing less.
“I know I have power to just hit on the barrel and the ball is going to be out,” Jimenez said. “I just try to be a hitter first and then become a power hitter.”