Ht: 6’0” Wt: 165 Level: DSL Mets – Dominican Summer League
B/T: L/R Age: 9/04/1998 (17) Age Dif: -1.7
Acquired: Signed as an IFA in 2015 for $1.2 MM bonus
Last Year: #28
2016 Statistics: 62 G, 214 AB, 52 R, 75 H, 20 2B, 4 3B, 3 HR, 38 RBI, 46 BB, 22 K, 13 SB, .350/.469/.523
In 2015, the Mets continued their organizational philosophy of prioritization of up the middle positional players for International free agents. Signing not one but two consensus top ten prospects available, (both shortstop) including Andres Gimenez who, at the time, was ranked #2 overall by Baseball America, though signed for a relative bargain $1.2 million due to hailing from Venezuela. Here is a video courtesy of MLB.com from prior to the signing period in 2015.
A more than slightly abridged personal history; I have been among the contributing writers for the site here for just about a year now. While I was a voracious consumer of this website and others who provided Mets and prospect related news, I have since become more selective in my consumerism and whose opinions I value with regard to players I have yet to lay eyes on personally.
I say this because typically I am reserved when jumping onto a prospect bandwagon. I would rather be pleasantly surprised than disappointed in the eventual outcome of a player. With modern day information and knowledge it’s much easier to fall in love with prospect hype than in yesteryear when the only information was your BA subscription that came in the mail or your local periodical distributor.
When it comes to Gimenez though, I find myself needing to slow my roll. With a stat line that includes a better than 2 to 1 BB/K ratio and 27 extra base hits it’s easy to get excited. For a player to begin his professional career with such an advanced approach at the plate and add it with solid bat to ball skills at a premium position; it equates to a player that everyone will covet. As such rumors swirled around the trade deadline he was one of the pieces most often asked about by rival executives.
The tools; while I would not grade him an 80 on any individual aspect of his game, (at least without seeing him in person first) the sum of parts has the look and feel of an above average regular/borderline All-Star at a premium position. With a swing geared for line drives and enough bat speed to drive the ball, he appears more geared for doubles than homers. Though there is more in the frame to suggest some power growth could be expected in the future.
The foot speed and athleticism is good enough to keep him in the middle infield and slot him in the upper portion of the lineup, though one should not expect prototypical burner speed. The glove and arm are said to be good enough to stick at shortstop; and while in the Mets world that is a fairly low bar, it is worth noting outside the organization that is the consensus thus far.
Mike M adds:
I was excited for Gimenez even before he played a game and even more so after showing an advanced approach in his pro debut. Before he signed, some scouts compared his value to Gleyber Torres who is now regarded as one of the best prospects in baseball.
I believe the Mets made a mistake by not having Gimenez play stateside at all during his debut so they should be aggressive with him this year. He will certainty skip the GCL Mets (Rookie Level), and could probably even hold his own if he skipped the Kingsport Mets (Rookie Level) to go right to the Brooklyn Cyclones.
Much like fellow countryman and 2013 IFA Luis Carpio, it’s been said Gimenez has a tremendous baseball IQ and displays the maturity of a player much older than a high school senior his age reflects. As he comes stateside this season I anticipate that the organization will challenge him as they did Carpio with an assignment to Kingsport Mets to begin his stateside career. It will present a greater challenge for him and allow the organization to keep both Gimenez and fellow 2015 IFA Gregory Guerrero at short.
It will be the approach and his ability to make contact that forces his way up the organizational ladder. While the risk factor is real for a player who has yet to make a stateside debut, there is more than enough to be excited about Gimenez’ future.