Andres Gimenez was one of the New York Mets top prospects heading into summer camp but quickly proved to be more than that. Gimenez made the Mets roster but was not expected to make much of an impact. He took full advantage of limited playing time early in the season and parlayed that into an everyday role at shortstop.
The Andrés Giménez development is pretty wild. That front foot was glued to the ground for his first three minor league seasons. Struggled with the adjustment last year and seems to be much more comfortable now.
This swing produced a 110 mph single to right field. pic.twitter.com/F8dKMjm2sP
— Jacob Resnick (@Jacob_Resnick) August 5, 2020
Through July, Gimenez only played in eight games (two starts) but went 4-13 (.308) during that period. His stellar defense and surprising early success at the plate started earning him opportunities to play every day. Gimenez ended up starting 27 of the final 41 games he played in and showed plenty of potential at the plate.
It was easy to forget that Gimenez was just a 21-year old rookie, but his slash line of .263/.333/.398 shows there is still more work to be done at the plate. For a player who has played less than 200 games at AA, it is very promising to see him survive and, at times, excel at the big league level. His strikeout rate (20.6%) and hard contact rate (26.4%) were below what they should be for an everyday shortstop.
Gimenez can use his 13.5-degree launch angle and 27.5% line drive rate as something to build on. He pulled the ball almost half the time, so he can take advantage of his speed on extra-base hits once he learns to use the whole field.
When teams started to scout Gimenez fully, they figured out how to get him out. They shifted on him more, and he only had a .125 wOBA against the shift compared to .336 without it. Pitchers also started throwing him more breaking balls; he only hit .192 with a .167 slugging against them. His issue was not only being able to hit the fastball, hitting .292 against the hard stuff.
Gimenez hit a tremendous 7-for-16 (.438) against offspeed pitches. It shows he can keep his weight back on the slow stuff but cannot recognize the sliders and curveballs thrown at him yet.
Major League Ready
Statistics aside, this kid has the hitting mechanics in place to become a good major league hitter. Gimenez added a leg kick to his batting stance, allowing him to access more of his power. He showed opposite-field power in flashes as well, which shows it can be something he brings out more as he adjusts to major league pitching.
The glove and base stealing ability of Gimenez is already major league ready. Gimenez had a positive outs above average and one defensive run saved at all three infield positions he played (SS, 2B, 3B). Despite a small sample size, all of the projections put him as an outstanding defender. Gimenez was a menace on the bases, successful in eight of nine stolen base attempts. His speed also ranked him in the top 6% in all of baseball.
Overall, Gimenez is on track to becoming the next star shortstop for the Mets. His eight stolen bases were tied for 10th in the NL, along with his three triples. Gimenez put himself in a position to battle for the shortstop job in 2021 due to his first season.
2020 Grades On 20-80 Scale (2021 Projection)
Hitting: 50 (55), Biggest key will be using the whole field.
Power: 35 (40), Still a couple of years from breaking into the 15-20 home run threshold.
Run: 65 (70), Doubt he will get faster, but his baserunning/stealing ability will get better and better.
Arm: 60 (60), Solid arm allowing him to play anywhere in the infield.
Field: 70 (75), Gold Glove-caliber player, which earned him everyday opportunities.
Overall: 45 (55), His career arc will go as high as his bat takes him.