Mets prospect Andres Gimenez has the chance to be a mainstay for the Mets at shortstop or second base, potentially as soon as the 2020 season...
Weight: 165 lbs
MLB Pipeline Mets Prospect Ranking: 1
2019 Statistics: .231 batting average, .305 on-base percentage with 11 doubles, three home runs, 16 RBI and 14 stolen bases in 54 games
Andres Gimenez was born in Barquisimeto, Venezuela. Going into the 2015 international free agency period he was ranked as the 19th best international prospect by MLB Pipeline but the second best international prospect by Baseball America.
Gimenez was trained under the tutelage of Eduardo Navarro and Baseball America called him the top Venezuelan prospect in the class. He has always been a slight sized athlete with plus contact skills and above average speed. He really stuck out on the showcase circuit showing incredibly fast hands and the ability to spray line drives from gap to gap with a compact swing. Defensively he had great hands, a strong arm and showed the tools to believe he'd have no problem handling shortstop at any point in his career.
On July 2, 2015 Gimenez agreed to a $1.2 million signing bonus with the Mets.
With The Mets
Gimenez made his professional debut in 2017, splitting time between the two Dominican Summer League Mets affiliates. He played a combined 62 games and hit .350 with a .469 on-base percentage. He had 20 doubles, three home runs, 38 RBI and 13 stolen bases.
In 2017 as an 18-year-old, Gimenez skipped all levels of rookie ball and went directly to Low-A Columbia. That started a trend that has continued throughout his development that Gimenez would be among the youngest players in his league every step of the way through development. The Mets believed that his advanced approach at the plate would lead him to not be overmatched at a more advanced level.
Gimenez didn't exactly dominate in 2017, sporting a .265 batting average and .346 on-base percentage in 92 games played. His lack of power was a little concerning as he only had 17 extra base hits total. But the Mets were satisfied with his progress as his OPS rose every month of the season except when he was a little worn down in August.
In 2018, Gimenez split the season between High-A St Lucie and Double-A Binghamton at 19 years old. In 85 games with St Lucie he hit .282 with a .348 on-base percentage and an OPS of .780, which was his highest since his time in the Dominican Summer League. He even made some progress with 30 extra base hits and his base running IQ took a step forward as he was able to turn his above average speed into 28 stolen bases. He got promoted to Binghamton and played 37 games and had an OPS of .702 while adding another 10 stolen bases. Combined between St Lucie and Binghamton, he ended up with a .281 average, .347 on-base percentage and 40 extra base hits to go with 38 stolen bases.
After his very successful 2018 campaign, Gimenez was almost unanimously ranked as the No. 1 prospect in the Mets system coming into 2019. He had made strides with his base running and his ability to hit the ball with higher exit velocities helped lead to a higher extra base hit number.
2019 has not been as friendly to Gimenez as he repeats Double-A. He missed some time with a hand/wrist injury that was hampering him and has just struggled to completely get going. He still is young at 20 years old, but he has a .659 OPS and only 17 extra base hits in 54 games. Gimenez has recently started to put better swings on the ball and the thought is that he should have more success in the second half of the Double-A season. His start to 2019 hasn't dampen him as a prospect too much, but you certainly want to see him get going.
Gimenez still possesses plus bat-to-ball skills and shows the ability to hit for a good average. There are still scouts who believe he will be a .290+ hitter when fully developed. Power will never be a big part of his game, maybe peaking at a 10-to-12 home run type of player. He has a slight build and there isn't belief he will fill out too much. His calling card for extra base hits will be spraying balls in the gap, getting doubles, and sometimes using his speed to get some triples. Gimenez has above average speed and has developed quality base running IQ, which should make him a 20+ stolen base threat.
Defensively, Gimenez has played both shortstop and second base. He will likely be an above average fielder at either spot, as he's very smooth and has an above average arm. The Mets are preparing him as a shortstop in case Amed Rosario ends up in center field long-term, or second base in case Rosario stays at shortstop and the DH comes to the NL (potentially resulting in Robinson Cano shifting there). A player comp that has been thrown around a lot on Gimenez is Cesar Hernandez of the Phillies. If Gimenez is healthy and gets back on his developmental trajectory he had coming in to 2019, he has every day player potential at either shortstop or second base.