Rozner: 7 years of Jimenez, Kopech is more than 6 for the White Sox

 
 
Updated 8/7/2018 10:36 AM
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  • White Sox fans would love to see top prospect Eloy Jimenez called up, but that would be the wrong move for the franchise, Barry Rozner writes.

    White Sox fans would love to see top prospect Eloy Jimenez called up, but that would be the wrong move for the franchise, Barry Rozner writes. Associated Press/Sept. 5, 2017

So, yeah, let's go ahead and try this again.

It turns out that -- as we suspected -- seven was more than six in 2015 when Kris Bryant arrived in Chicago, and the eight games he missed to start the season did not prevent him from winning Rookie of the Year or the Cubs from reaching the NLCS.

The following year, as you may recall, he was the MVP and the Cubs won that World Series thing.

And now, using the same methods previously shown as proof, we can state that seven remains one more than six.

The math is solid. Really. It works. Seven years of team control is still one more than six years of team control and the bigger number is the better number.

This isn't golf, where six is terrible, but not as bad as seven. In this case, seven is indeed the superior figure.

Therefore, with the mathematical conditions having been met, and to borrow from "West Wing" President Jed Bartlet, what I lack in memory, I more than make up for with exceptional powers of deductive reasoning.

That being said, we resuscitate the arithmetical argument now because of the baseball argument that is taking place among the South Side faithful, as hopes of a promotion envelope White Sox fans.

The noise was getting pretty loud even before farm director Chris Getz joined me on "Hit and Run" Sunday, but his praise of Eloy Jimenez seemed to raise the volume.

"(Since) we acquired him in the trade last year, he's done nothing but perform offensively," Getz said. "This guy has been able to drive the ball to all fields. He seems to be able to set up pitchers. He's very advanced.

"Each level (of the minor leagues) brings new challenges … but he's been able to close the gap at each spot.

"He's one of those players that you rarely see, seamlessly moving through the minor leagues. I would imagine he's not going to waste any time at the major league level.

"We would just want to make sure he's as well-rounded as possible … and we're getting very close."

Chicago White Sox pitching prospect Michael Kopech works against the Oakland Athletics during spring training.
Chicago White Sox pitching prospect Michael Kopech works against the Oakland Athletics during spring training. - Associated Press/Feb. 26, 2018

Similarly, Michael Kopech seems to have reached the point where the case for keeping him in the minors is not very easy to make.

"It's been an interesting season," Getz said. "It hasn't been completely smooth (for Kopech), but that's a good thing. He's in a good spot right now.

"He's commanding his fastball the best he has. He's differentiating his breaking pitches. He's getting more consistent with those. He's getting more confident with his changeup.

"Michael is a very confident player and we feel that he's going to be an impactful-type starter in the major leagues, and there's a chance that it happens fairly soon."

Fairly soon is a relative phrase that in baseball terms could mean 10 days from now or it could mean 10 days into the 2019 season, which is precisely what it should be for Jimenez and Kopech.

Sorry, White Sox fans, but GM Rick Hahn would not be properly looking out for you or the organization long term if he allowed for some short-term pleasure, promoting players that would give you something to enjoy in August and September of a season in which the Sox have no chance to compete.

Yes, it would be fun. And, yes, it would sell some tickets. But it would be wrong, and as steward of the franchise he must think beyond today.

To give away a year of team control would be irresponsible, just as it would have been for Theo Epstein, even though there was a pretty soft case for keeping Bryant at Iowa that first week of the season.

But Bryant arrived in the fourth year of a rebuild. This is only the second year for the Sox, and if the Sox are able to craft a roster with a chance to win the World Series every season by the fifth year -- as did the Cubs -- that would be 2021.

And by keeping Jimenez and Kopech down for the first week or two of 2019, the free-agent clock wouldn't start on them until 2020 and they are guaranteed to be here through at least 2025.

It may not feel like it right now, but it will feel a whole lot better if these guys become superstars and you have them for that seventh year.

Instead of only six.

brozner@dailyherald.com

• Listen to Barry Rozner from 9 a.m. to noon Sundays on the Score's "Hit and Run" show at WSCR 670-AM and follow him @BarryRozner on Twitter.

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