Jimenez In Top Form

D'Angelo Jimenez has had to overcome a lot during his baseball career, but has always keeps his goal of making it back to the major leagues his top priority.  His hard work and dedication is paying off this season, which might earn him another stint in the major leagues.

Jimenez is not a new face to the fans at the Columbus Clipper stadium.  He has spent many of his seasons playing in Columbus when the Clippers were the Triple-A team for the New York Yankees.  In 1999, Jimenez won the Clippers player of the year and then in early 2000, was in a near fatal car crash that should have ended his baseball career.  However, Jimenez pushed himself through rehab and played in the 2000 season.

"My goal was to play that year in baseball, but if I had known at the time what I know now, I wouldn't have rushed myself," Jimenez explained.  "I would have taken more time because I lost a lot of strength and ability by rushing back."

Jimenez contributes his success since then to the lessons he learned from the accident.  He feels each day and each game he gets to play is a gift and has used that mentality to help get him back to the big leagues.

"My biggest accomplishment in my career was overcoming my accident," Jimenez said.  "I'm so happy God gave me another chance to play the sport I love and because of that I work hard everyday.  Not only can I play baseball again but I've had some really good seasons since then and I'm very lucky."

This year, Jimenez has spent some time at both the major league and minor league level.  Currently in Columbus, Jimenez is helping the Clippers turn their season around. He brings a lot of talent and skills to the Columbus team.  His seven years of experience in the league has taught him many things that he hopes to share with his teammates.

"I've been around some really good players in the major leagues and learned a lot from them so I hope to teach others what they taught m e," Jimenez told CapitolDugout.com.  "I also try to play hard everyday and try to contribute to the team and help win some games. But most of all I've learned, you have to have fun."

While Jimenez continues to have fun playing the game he loves, he is also hard at work leading the team with a batting average of .365. In the last week alone, his batting average was up to .406.  However, Jimenez doesn't worry about his batting average and instead keeps his focus on the game.

"I think I've done well. I started out the year strong and hard.  Then I slowed down a little during my first couple at bats in the big leagues so they sent me down here," Jimenez said.  "It has been a really good month for me here so I'm just trying to keep it up and stay the same level and not try to do too much."

The most important thing to Jimenez when he comes to the ballpark is to do his job, which consists of hitting the ball and getting on base.  When it comes to hitting, Jimenez is use to leading off but here in Columbus he is batting 5th or 6th in the lineup.

"I have a different role now in the lineup and I try to do my best at it," Jimenez said.  "I am trying to keep my approach and continue the role I'm on. I'm just lucky right now that people are catching my balls."

Jimenez's approach to the plate depends on what his teammates have done, especially if they are on base.  He usually tries to wok the pitch and wants to make the pitcher throw as many pitches as possible.

When it comes to the infield, Jimenez is another player who can play multiple positions.  He spent most of his career playing short stop but then switched to 2nd base. Two years ago he started playing 3rd base too.  While short stop and 2nd base are his favorite, Jimenez feels it's important to be able to play all positions.

"Right now I think it's very important," Jimenez told us.  "Being able to play that row of positions is difficult but it allows me to be ready for any position or situation they put me in.  Since I know how to play them all, I know I'll do a good job."

While the Washington Nationals don't have any openings in the infield right now, Jimenez knows that at any time, something could happen, and he could be pulled up.  With that in mind, he continues to work hard in Columbus and continues to put up impressive numbers.

I want to finish strong this season, and help my team make it to the playoffs. Then of course, I want to make it back to the big leagues and stay there for a long time," Jimenez said.  "That's what all of us are working towards, whether it is getting a chance to go back to the big leagues or getting to go up there for our first time.  Whatever happens, I've learned to take it day by day and enjoy every minute of it."

Capitol Dugout Top Stories