MB all-star Jimenez puts on lights-out show in HR derby

pel-hrderbybigThe phrase “light-tower power” is thrown around often for power hitters. Myrtle Beach Pelican Eloy Jimenez took that literally Monday.

The top Cubs prospect blasted a home run to left field during the Carolina League Home Run Derby, a shot that shattered a bulb on the light fixture beyond the left-field fence at Salem (VA) Memorial Ballpark.

“He hit one over the lights before that one,” said Carolina League South manager Buddy Bailey, who also coaches Jimenez at Class A Advanced Myrtle Beach. “It looked like [Robert] Redford in The Natural. All the kids got against the wall as if they could catch it, then looked and ran like crazy to get away from the glass falling.”

Bailey, who has 28 years of Minor League managerial experience and 36 years of experience in professional baseball, said he had never seen anything like this on a field.

“[Only on] foul balls,” Bailey said. “Between the poles … no.”

Jimenez, who has seven homers in 28 games for the Pelicans this season, did not advanced to the finals of the Derby. Carolina’s Jake Gatewood, the Brewers’ No. 25 prospect, defeated Sicnarf Loopstok of Lynchburg in a tiebreaker in the final round. Regardless of the result, Jimenez’s blast will remain a lasting memory.

“I think people can see what potential he has. I don’t have to be a scout for them, their own eyes can tell,” Bailey said. “But he has a great chance to have a great career in baseball.”

Photo by Patrick Cavey

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