New York Mets Player Evaluations: Shortstop Andres Gimenez

New York Mets, Andres Gimenez

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.

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.

Hitting Adjustments

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.

New York Mets Player Evaluations: Shortstop Amed Rosario

Amed Rosario, New York Mets

The New York Mets had high expectations for Amed Rosario after his breakout second half in 2019. Rosario’s lack of plate discipline struggles at the plate, and Andres Gimenez‘s emergence shrank his playing time in a disappointing 2020 season.

Rosario will never be a high walk rate player, but getting his OBP almost 50 points above his batting average was a huge step. After Rosario started 5-for-16 in the first four games of the season, everything went downhill from there. In the next 13 games, Rosario went 8-for-50 (.160) and failed to record a walk until August 31.

Loss of Playing Time

During this period of Rosario’s struggles, the shortstop position became a platoon role with Gimenez. One of Rosario’s struggles was his timing at the plate, causing him to stray away from his full-field approach from 2019. Rosario had his highest pull percentage and lowest up the middle batted ball percentage of his career.

His BABIP on pitches on the inner third of the plate was significantly lower than it was during 2019. A lot of Rosario’s success came from his ability to take those inner third pitches and shoot them back up the middle. Rosario also has not learned how to steal bases, wasting his speed. Gimenez was able to showcase his stealing ability throughout the season, which earned him extra playing time.

Rosario still provided quality defense but Gimenez playing at a gold glove level, outshined him. In the small sample size, Rosario had a solid year, and it was the one area where he did not regress during 2020.

Rosario woke with the bat during the last 29 games (21 starts). The slash line was more recognizable at .299/.333/.442 with an incredible .370 BABIP. The increased BABIP and SLG show that Rosario was making cleaner and strong contact during this stretch. Rosario started this stretch with a .197 average to a high point of .266 to finish the season at .252.

The 2021 Plan

The slow start to the season was heightened with the shortened season and Gimenez looming in the background. Rosario and Gimenez will likely battle each other for the everyday job at short during Spring Training. The battle may not end in March since each player bats from opposite sides, and Gimenez plays multiple positions, both could still get plenty of playing time throughout the season.

The biggest thing Rosario should work on is becoming a capable base stealer. His sprint speed is one of the best in baseball but only has 50 stolen bases in 75 attempts in his four years in the big leagues. Rosario does not need to steal 50+ bases, but there is no reason why he cannot steal 20-25 bases in a season. That ability is the biggest difference between the two young Mets shortstops.

2020 Grades On 20-80 Scale (2021 Projection)

Hitting: 45 (55), We have seen flashes of brilliance over the last two seasons but can Rosario do it for a full season?

Power: 45 (50), Rosario’s biggest leap will be breaking 20-30, HR-2B threshold.

Run: 75 (70), Rosario has lost a step each year but is still as fast as anyone. Hopefully, the stolen bases come with it.

Field: 55 (50), Slightly above average and surprisingly better going to his right than his left.

Overall: 45 (55), 2021 really seems like a make or break year for Rosario. Having Gimenez right behind him should light a competitive fire under him.

New York Mets: Nats Sweep Doubleheader to End Mets Playoff Hopes

New York Mets, Jacob deGrom

The New York Mets needed an amazing start from Jacob deGrom to keep their postseason hopes alive, but he was only average on Saturday. In game one of the doubleheader, the Washington Nationals won 4-3 and took game two 5-3 against the struggling Rick Porcello. It became the fourth consecutive season that the Mets missed the playoffs.

Jacob deGrom came out firing bullets in the first inning. He hit 102 mph with his fastball, the fastest pitch of his career, and tying the fastest pitch of the season. deGrom ran into trouble from the third inning on, as he lost command, allowing a run in each of the final three innings he pitched. While striking out 10, his ERA went up to 2.38 and knocked out his chances of winning the Cy Young.

The Mets offense got to Max Scherzer early with a two-run home run from Wilson Ramos and a solo homer from Amed Rosario. Unfortunately, the Mets offense went dead late in the game as they left the lead run at third with one out in the sixth inning. Back-to-back strikeouts killed the rally and were followed by the Nationals taking the lead in the bottom half of the inning.

The Mets also lost Andres Gimenez to an oblique injury, which caused Rosario to enter the game. Dominic Smith also suffered a crushing blow, running face-first into the left-field fence. It allowed Andrew Stevenson to round the bases for an inside the park home run for his second homer of the game.

Porcello Struggles Again in Game Two

Rick Porcello towed the rubber for a meaningless game two of the doubleheader. He could not replicate the success from his last start allowing five runs over three innings. All the Nationals runs came in the third inning, as ten men went to the plate.

After the game, Porcello was disappointed in his poor season. He likely will not remain with the Mets for next season, and it is hard to see him landing with another contender in 2021. Porcello was not the only disappointed Mets starter as deGrom also voiced his frustrations with the underachieving Mets.

The Mets offense struggled outside of Pete Alonso. He hit a line-drive home run, which added to a good rebound day at the plate. Alonso showed better discipline at the plate and emphasized hitting the ball hard instead of just hitting it in the air.

Seth Lugo gets the final start of the season as he faces off against Austin Voth. Game 60 starts at 3:05 p.m. ET from Nationals Park as the Mets hope to avoid last place.

 

New York Mets: 8-5 Loss Allows Tampa Bay Rays to Clinch the AL East

New York Mets, Michael Wacha

The New York Mets had no choice but to win every remaining game to give themselves a shot at the postseason, but the Tampa Bay Rays had a division to win. They fired off four home runs, two from Randy Arozarena in their 8-5 win, clinching the American League Eastern division for the first time since 2010.

Michael Wacha was making his final start of the season and likely his last in a Met uniform. He started strong by striking out the side in the first inning. This episode is one we have seen from Wacha before as the first inning does not translate to the rest of his start.

While his pitch count was low, he could not avoid the home run. He allowed a solo homer to Joey Wendle and Arozarena’s first home run of the game. Arozarena’s home run gave the Rays the lead in the sixth, and they never looked back from there. Wacha made it through six innings, allowing four runs on six hits, only needing 66 pitches.

Glasnow Glows

Tyler Glasnow came into his final start of the season, ranking fifth in strikeouts for the American League. He showed off his strikeouts stuff against the Mets offense with eight over six innings and holding the Mets to two runs. Glasnow made hitters look foolish with his fastball/curve combination. When the Mets struck against him, they did so with home runs from Andres Gimenez and Dominic Smith.

The Mets had some life when down six in the ninth. They tallied three runs, two coming from a Todd Frazier home run. It was no enough for the Mets to climb back, and the Rays clinched the division at Citi Field.

The Mets head to the road as they finish off their season with a four-game road trip against the Washington Nationals. Two lefties matchup as David Peterson faces Patrick Corbin in the first game from Nationals Park. The first pitch is at 6:05 p.m. ET.

New York Mets: deGrom Exits Early, Gimenez Gets Big Hit in 5-4 Win

New York Mets, Andres Gimenez

Wednesday night’s matchup between the New York Mets and Philadelphia Phillies featured a matchup of two longtime teammates. Jacob deGrom and Zack Wheeler faced each other for the first time, but Wheeler lasted a lot longer than back-to-back Cy Young winner did. For the Mets, if they wanted any hope at a postseason birth, they needed a victory.

From the beginning, it set up like another disappointing Mets loss. They went down 4-0 early, deGrom only lasted two innings, and their offense struggled against Wheeler. The Mets overcame all of that to pick up a huge 5-4 victory to move within 1.5 games of the Phillies. 

From the second pitch of the game, it was evident deGrom was dealing with some issue. deGrom sent glares towards the dugout, trying to let them know something was not right. After giving up three runs in the second, he did not make it back out for the third. deGrom left the game with right hamstring spasms and was visibly frustrated in the dugout.

Wacha to the Rescue

Michael Wacha gave the Mets everything they could have asked for when called into long relief duty. He gave the Mets four innings and held the Phillies to one run and kept the Mets in the game. Wacha worked around some trouble, allowing five hits, but his performance cannot go overlooked.

The comeback started with a simple Robinson Cano ground out, making it a 4-1 game. J.D. Davis made it a 4-3 game with a two-run opposite-field off Wheeler. As the game move into the late innings, Davis left his mark on this game.

With Michael Conforto on first base, his double tied the game in the eighth inning. The ball hung in the air forever, and it just made it over the glove of the leaping Adam Haseley. Conforto also had no clue on the number of outs, which made the play at the plate closer than it should have been.

Clutch Bullpen

In the bottom half of the eighth, Miguel Castro stranded runners on first and second with back to back strikeouts to move the game to the ninth inning. The Phillies made a couple of mistakes in the ninth inning to benefit the Mets. With a runner on first, Hector Neris balked to move the runner to second base.

They decided to intentionally walk Jeff McNeil to set up Andres Gimenez in his biggest spot with the Mets. The rookie came through to line a single to center field, giving the Mets a 5-4 lead. Edwin Diaz worked around a base hit to strike out three batters and pick up his biggest save of the season.

The Mets send Seth Lugo to the mound for the rubber game of this three-game series. Aaron Nola opposes him at Citizens Bank Park for the 7:05 p.m. ET start.

 

New York Mets: Alonso’s Bat, Conforto’s Glove Lead to 7-6 Comeback Win

The New York Mets just won the game that could change their season dramatically. After the Mets pitching struggled to slow down the Baltimore Orioles, a Michael Conforto catch of the season turned the game around. The Mets rode that momentum to a 7-6 victory.

The catch was one of the best made by an outfielder over the last decade. Also, the situation was a game-changing moment; the bases were loaded with the Mets trailing by one in the bottom of the sixth inning. The ball struck by Rio Ruiz was destined to land for a three-run double to bury the Mets. It would not have just buried their hopes to win tonight but to make a postseason push.

In the half-inning prior, Conforto’s homer and Robinson Cano‘s RBI single put the Mets in a position where one swing would tie the game. Andres Gimenez kept the momentum rolling as his opposite-field home run tied the game. Most impressively is that the homer came off a left-handed pitcher.

Keep On Fighting

In the eighth inning, Jeurys Familia battled out of a first and third jam to keep the game tied. It gave Pete Alonso the chance to give the Mets a 7-6 lead with a home run over the right-center field fence. The home run was reminiscent of the 53 home runs he peppered all over the field during 2019.

With the late dramatics, Jeff McNeil‘s great start to the game goes overlooked. He drove in the first run then hit a two-run homer for his fourth consecutive game with a homer. This was his first that was hit to the opposite field.

On the pitching side, Rick Porcello put the Mets in an early 5-1 hole. Those five runs were allowed in four innings pitched, and he also allowed ten hits. Porcello could not keep the ball out of the middle of the plate against an aggressive Orioles offense. It was another start that proved the Mets have nothing behind the arms of Jacob deGrom and Seth Lugo.

After a day off on Thursday, the Mets face the Toronto (Buffalo) Blue Jays in their minor league field upstate. Jacob deGrom makes a start against Chase Anderson, the first pitch is at 6:37 p.m. ET.

New York Mets Series Preview: Baltimore Orioles (9/8-9/9)

New York Mets, Amed Rosario

The New York Mets welcome in the Baltimore Orioles for a short two-game series at Citi Field. They split their two-game series last week, but both teams currently sit on the outside looking in of the playoff race.

Probable Pitching Matchups

Tuesday, (9/8) @ 7:10 p.m. ET: John Means (0-3, 8.10 ERA) vs. Michael Wacha (1-2, 7.20 ERA)

Wednesday, (9/9) @ 7:10 p.m. ET: TBD vs. Rick Porcello (1-4, 5.54 ERA)

Michael Wacha looks to put together a good start after a season full of poor ones. He has failed to complete the sixth inning in any of his outings this season. Wacha could relax a little more in this start with the offense rolling and facing John Means, who allowed four runs in five innings against the Mets.

Lefty on Lefty

The Mets went with their right-handed heavy lineup against Means but left their three hottest left-handed hitters in the lineup. Michael Conforto is hitting .348 on the season and hitting a career-high .310 against southpaws. Jeff McNeil looks like the All-Star hitter he was last year, hitting home runs in back to back games and .381 over his previous 11 games.

Andres Gimenez is the third left in the lineup, and he joins Amed Rosario up the middle. Gimenez earned the opportunity to start against a lefty with his efforts in the series against the Phillies. Even if he struggles in game one, his gold glove caliber defense is tough to remove from the field. Since Rosario does not have the glove Gimenez has, Rosario gets to stay at shortstop while the versatile Gimenez goes to second base.

Matchups/Stats to Lookout For

Jeff McNeil on the First Pitch in 2020: 9-for-26 (.346), 5 Doubles, Home Run

Pete Alonso Batting Fifth in 2020: 5-for-13 (.385), 2 Doubles, Home Run, Walk, 4 Strikeouts

Jose Iglesias During Away Games in 2020: 22-for-50 (.440), 7 Doubles, Walk, 9 Strikeouts

 

New York Mets: Segura Haunts the Mets Again in 9-8 Loss

New York Mets, David Peterson

The New York Mets made a miraculous comeback from 6-0 against the Philadelphia Phillies to earn a 7-6 lead. Unfortunately, they could not keep the lead, and a Jean Segura two-run home run in the tenth inning spoiled a must-win game for the Mets.

Miguel Castro continued to make general manager Brodie Van Wagenen look like a clueless mess. His prized acquisition gave up the home run to Segura, and it was confusing for Castro to be in the game. Edwin Diaz threw a 1-2-3 ninth inning on only 12 pitches, but manager Luis Rojas opted to go with Castro instead.

Ramirez Saves Bullpen

David Peterson struggled through two innings and allowed five runs. He needed 70 pitches to get through the start and had no command of anything he was throwing. Peterson’s shaky control has shown during his previous starts, but this was his worst.

Erasmo Ramirez made his Mets debut in long relief of Peterson. He gave the Mets a fighting chance and saved the bullpen by throwing five innings and his only run coming off a J.T. Realmuto home run. Ramirez only needed 54 pitches, and the outing certainly gives the Mets another starting rotation option.

Offense Clicks Again

The Mets offense did all they could after Zack Wheeler shut them down in the first four innings. They bunched together three runs in the fifth coming on RBI doubles from Michael Conforto, J.D. Davis, and Dominic Smith. When Wheeler surprisingly came out after six innings and 84 pitches, the Mets jumped all over the Phillies bullpen in a four-run seventh.

A Didi Gregorius error got the Mets within two runs at 6-4 and allowed the Jeff McNeil to bat with two runners on base. McNeil channeled his power for the second consecutive game as his three-run home run gave the Mets a 7-6 lead and completed their comeback. The lead did not stick as Jeurys Familia gave up the lead in the following half-inning.

Despite the loss, the Mets showed their resiliency once again. After scoring a run in the 10th with a Brandon Nimmo single, J.D. Davis came within five feet of a walk-off home run. They split the four-game series with the Phillies, but they played great baseball for the final three games.

Andres Gimenez also continued to shine on both sides of the game. He recorded two more hits and played sparkling defense at shortstop. With a lefty on the mound for their first game against the Baltimore Orioles, it will be interesting to see if Luis Rojas continues to run Gimenez out there.

That lefty for the O’s is John Means, and for the Mets, they send the struggling Michael Wacha. The first pitch from Citi Field is at 7:10 p.m. ET.

 

New York Mets: Gimenez will start his fourth straight game at shortstop on Monday, what about Rosario?

The New York Mets entered the season with Amed Rosario as their starting shortstop. He had a .287/.323/.432 line last year and was even better in the second half, and the team officials thought he was going to break out in 2020.

Well, it’s safe to say that hasn’t been the case. Whereas he had a 100 wRC+ last season, which is basically league average offense, he is at 61 wRC+ in 2020. His inconsistent offense and defense have prompted New York Mets’ manager Luis Rojas to give more reps to rookie Andres Gimenez at Rosario’s expense.

Gimenez has started the last three games and will make his fourth straight appearance on Monday. He had a two-run single on Sunday and has a nice little .412 batting average in his last seven contests.

For the season, the Mets’ rookie has a .282/.329/.385 line with a 97 wRC+. As a left-handed hitter, he has been getting most of the playing time against righties, limiting Rosario to facing mostly lefties. It isn’t necessarily a permanent arrangement, but it is the one that seems to be working as of now.

The Mets’ gritty weapon

Gimenez is versatile, being capable of playing all over the infield but first base. He is speedy, he plays hard, and he has been trying to hit for power. If he keeps working and develops his game even further, the Mets could have an interesting debate as to which player could be the long-term starter at shortstop.

Prior to the weekend games, Rosario was benched after a three-hit performance against the Yankees.

“Right now, in this stretch that we are [in], we’re going to say that Giménez is getting back-to-back games because he’s looked really good against right-handed pitchers,” Rojas said to Anthony DiComo of MLB.com. “Rosie looked good his last game, but right now, we’re basically spending some time using Giménez as a hot hand.”

New York Mets: Lugo’s Best Start of the Season Gives Mets a 5-1 Win

The New York Mets needed Seth Lugo to pitch as long as he could, and it was exactly what he did. Lugo gave the Mets five strong innings, holding the Phillies to one run and throwing a season-high 81 pitches. The Mets offense came together to give them a relaxing 5-1 victory.

The command that Lugo lacked with his fastball he made up for with his curveball. It helped him record eight strikeouts and keep the Phillies to four hits. Their only run came off a Rhys Hoskins home run on a fastball in the first inning. Lugo recording the win was the first Mets starter to earn a W in 19 games.

Team Effort On Offense

Six different Mets recorded hits and half of them had multiple-hit games. Michael Conforto made use of the opposite field for two hits, including an RBI single. Jeff McNeil did not have an RBI but had a double to continue his hot hitting.

Andres Gimenez was the best player for the Mets on both sides of the ball. He had four productive plate appearances. Two hits, a walk, and a sacrifice fly that was a gift from the Phillies defense as Bryce Harper’s laziness forced a backpedaling Neil Walker to make the catch.

The strong play on offense and defense is showing why he should play more than Amed Rosario. With the Mets needing every single victory they can get, Gimenez will likely continue to play as Luis Rojas rides the hot hand.

The struggling Mets bullpen also hurled four shutout innings and recorded five strikeouts. The entire staff also held the Phillies to 0-for-6 with runners in scoring position and stranded 10 Phillies on base.

Sunday afternoon’s matchup is a battle of the aces as Jacob deGrom faces Aaron Nola at a 1:10 p.m. ET start from Citi Field.