1. Andres Gimenez, SS
Height: 5’11”, Weight: 180 lbs.
DOB: 9/4/98 (19)
Acquired: IFA 2015, (Dominican Republic)
2017: Columbia (Low-A): 92 G, 399 PA, .265/.346/.349, 9 2B, 4 3B, 4 HR, 14/22 SB, 28 BB, 61 K
Considered one of the best international rookies in the 2015-2016 class, the Mets added a highly regarded talent into their minor league system when they signed Venezuelan shortstop Andres Gimenez, giving him a signing bonus just north of $1 million. Gimenez looked like a man among boys in the Dominican Summer League in 2016, hitting a combined .350/.469/.523 in 62 games split among both of the Mets’ DSL teams. When the 2017 season began, Gimenez impressed Mets brass during extended spring training to the point that they gave the 18-year-old an extremely assignment. Typically very conservative with their top prospects, Gimenez was assigned to the Columbia Fireflies, the Mets’ Low-A affiliate. In 92 games, the youngster hit .265/.346/.349, more than holding his own against competition years older than himself.
Gimenez has a simple, short swing, keeping the barrel of the bat in the strike zone. At present, much of his power is gap power because the youngster isn’t very physically mature. Because he has a thin frame but broad shoulders, it is easy to imagine Gimenez putting on more weight and adding more power to his game, though he will likely never be a big power contributor. Though only 19-years-old, he has an advanced eye at the plate, drawing plenty of walks while not striking out a ton.
Defensively, evaluators generally agree that Gimenez has all the tools to play shortstop, with some feeling he is more of an average fielder, while others believe he is a potentially above-average defender. He shows good instincts, fluid actions, above-average range, soft hands, and an above-average arm. Gimenez has plus speed, but is still learning situational awareness on the base paths.
Because of his age, there are variety of paths his career could take. The possibility exists that he does not gain much muscle mass, and remains a very light hitter. The possibility exists that he gains more muscle mass than expected, potentially forcing him off shortstop. Optimally, Gimenez is able to stay at the position, while maturing enough to add more oomph to his bat.
Greg Karam says:
He was able to hold his own in full season ball as an 18-year-old, so given the state of the system this was an easy ranking. He has a smooth swing and a quick bat. Couple that with his ability to make contact and his up-the-middle defensive prowess and there’s a lot to be excited about
Lukas Vlahos says:
Gimenez is really not my kind of prospect as a polish over potential guy, but he’s still comfortably in the top spot because of how bad the Mets’ farm is at present. If everything works out, Gimenez should offer solid defense with minimal power and an occasional steal - sort of like Ruben Tejada’s 2011. That’s not a piece to get particularly excited for or the sort of prospect that headlines a big trade, but it is a useful profile as a secondary piece on a contender.
Steve Sypa says:
Gimenez has upside, but, to me, he doesn’t have enough upside to get me excited. When you think ‘top prospect in the system’, you generally get the sense of a guy being the best of the best. There are still a few different ways that Gimenez’s career could go, but none of them scream star. If Gimenez can develop into a useful player, regardless of his upside, that will still be a big win for the system.