Houston Astros Prospect Jimerson is Competing Against Himself

By Joe Booker
Updated: February 13, 2006

TEXAS—Chalton Jimerson was one of the Astros top young prospects that attended the Nolan Ryan preseason camp at Minute Maid Park early in February.

The camp gave Jimerson exposure

“The camp gave me exposure,” said Jimerson. “For me, it was a chance to go one-on-one with a big league staff and getting to fine tune my game,” said Jimerson. It also prepared me for what is expected of me.”

Jimerson feels he is competing against himself

“I’m one of those guys competing against myself,” said Jimerson. “I don’t see myself as one of the guys worrying about competition,” he said. “I need to worry about what I need to get done as far as experience and putting up good numbers and showing I can do on a consistent basis.”

He was originally drafted by the Astros in 1997, but attended the University of Miami, where he led the Hurricanes to the 2001 College World Series title. He was voted the Outstanding Player in the College World Series. Jimerson hit .333 with two home runs, two RBI, and seven stolen bases. As a senior he hit .302 for the regular season and made only four errors in 58 games at his center field position.

Astros consultant Enos Cabell and bench coach Cecil Cooper are high on Jimerson

Enos Cabell, a consultant for Astros general manager Tim Purpura and bench coach Cecil Cooper, call Jimerson the best outfielder in the Astros organization. “Jimerson is our best outfielder in the organization,” said Cabell. “He can do it all—hit, run and throw—but he needs to cut down on his strikeouts.”

“Jimerson is no doubt the best outfielder in our organization,” said Cooper. “He has all the tools to be an outstanding player,” said Cooper.

Jimerson grew up in the Oakland, California area, where he was an outstanding basketball and baseball player.

“Basketball was big for me, but baseball kind of took over,” said Jimerson, who will be fighting for a spot in the outfield in spring training. “Baseball was what I wanted to do and it hit me the most,” said Jimerson, who was completing the last day in the Nolan Ryan camp.

Jimerson talked about growing up in the inner-city of Oakland.

“I would not advise you to take a vacation in Oakland,” said Jimerson. “It was kind of what we went through and dealt with growing up in the inner-city,” said Jimerson. “What it did was build your character and as a person. If you can get out of there and make something out of yourself, you can kind of look back at where you came from. Jimmy Rollins (major league baseball star) was the biggest baseball star to come out of there during my time.”

If Jimerson makes the 25-man roster, it would give manager Phil Garner a tough decision to make. A starting outfield of Preston Wilson (left), Jimerson (center) and Willy Taveras (right), would give the Astros one of the fastest and best defensive outfields in the major league. Roger Clemens could relax pitching with that kind of defense behind him.