While Andres Gimenez is widely regarded as not just the Mets top prospect but also one of the Top 100 prospects in the game, the one area of his game which has still not quite developed yet is his power. In Arizona Fall League action, Gimenez did something he has not done much of in his professional career – he hit a home run.
— John T Eshleman (@2080_John) October 11, 2018
With respect to Gimenez, the homer was noteworthy because he is coming off a season where he hit six homers in his time split between St. Lucie and Binghamton. Those six homers were a career high, and Gimenez has hit just 13 total over three minor league seasons. In the 37 games after he was called up to Binghamton, Gimenez did not hit any homers, and he had a .358 SLG.
On the 20-80 scouting scale, Fangraphs has Gimenez’s game power rate as 20/40, which means his power is well below average. Put another way, he profiles as a slap hitter. Baseball America gives him the same 40 grade, but they opine, “scouts expect him to impact the ball more frequently as his body matures and he gains strength in his 20s.”
When you see that homer in the Arizona Fall League and dig deeper into his numbers, you can see just exactly why scouts have a positive outlook of Gimenez’s power potential.
Sam Dykstra of MiLB.com analyzed Gimenez’s season using a statistic called expected isolated slugging percentage (xISO). The xISO stat defines the “ISO a player would be expected to have produced in 2018 given his power tool grade.” Using this stat, Gimenez was the biggest over-performer among Top 100 prospects during the 2018 season.
There were several reasons why Gimemez’s power numbers were better than expected. One of the reasons why was despite Gimenez hitting few homers, he did hit 29 doubles and five triples. Notably, when Gimenez homered, he predominantly pulled the ball, but the majority of his doubles were hit to the opposite field. Overall, Gimenez has a quick swing, has a high rate of contact, and he uses the whole field.
To put it in perspective, Indians third baseman Jose Ramirez hit .272/.325/.349 as a 20 year old in the Eastern League. Back then, Baseball America said of him, “He has a smooth swing from both sides of the plate and sprays line drives to all fields. He does have some pull-side power, more so as a righthanded hitter, but home runs aren’t part of his game.” This past season, as a 25 year old, Ramirez hit .270/.389/.552 with 39 homers and 105 RBI.
To suggest, Gimenez could put up numbers like Ramirez is absurd, but then again back in 2013, it would have been absurd to suggest Ramirez would put up the numbers he is currently producing for the Indians.
Suffice it to say, there is potential Gimenez will hit for more power than he is now. While we can guess what type of hitter he will be in the future, many possibilities remain for the extremely talented 19 year old shortstop, and it should be fun to see exactly what type of player he will become one day.