For all of the buzz the Mets create in acquisitions like acquiring Robinson Canó or Yoenis Céspedes, they’ve also done a nice job of signing and developing their own big league bats from within. There’s 2019 National League Rookie of the Year Pete Alonso, of course, to go along with
For all of the buzz the Mets create in acquisitions like acquiring Robinson Canó or Yoenis Céspedes, they’ve also done a nice job of signing and developing their own big league bats from within. There’s 2019 National League Rookie of the Year Pete Alonso, of course, to go along with former first-round picks Michael Conforto, Brandon Nimmo and Dominic Smith, not to mention late-round finds Luis Guillorme, Jeff McNeil and Tomás Nido on the domestic scouting side. Amed Rosario represents the best international find to date, though he's now joined by fellow shortstop Andrés Giménez, who made his big league debut on July 24.
The Mets have pushed Giménez fairly aggressively since giving him $1.2 million to sign out of Venezuela back in July 2015 when he was the No. 19 prospect in the 2015-16 international signing period. After one summer in the Dominican Summer League, Giménez made his United States debut all the way up in the full-season South Atlantic League as an 18-year-old and more than held his own. In 2018, he played his way to Double-A, still as a teenager, was named a Florida State League All-Star, went to the Futures Game and made the first of two trips to the Arizona Fall League. He won the AFL batting title in that second go-round, setting the stage for him to make the Opening Day roster this season.
Giménez has seen time at second and third over the first few days of the season and it’s probably safe to assume his defensive flexibility will come in handy as a utility-type player, one who can come in as a defensive replacement for Canó, or even allow Canó to DH on occasion.
Here’s what the 21-year-old Giménez brings to the table with his grades on the 20-to-80 scouting scale in parentheses (20-30 is well below average, 40 is below average, 50 is average, 60 is above average and 70-80 is well above average):
Hit (55): Giménez has always shown outstanding bat-to-ball skills, with relatively low strikeout rates and a solid approach, especially given his age. He’s typically been content to spray the ball to all fields and he’s been showing the ability to impact the ball more consistently, allowing him to be more than a find-a-hole singles hitter as he’s progressed.
Power (40): No one is ever going to mistake Giménez for Alonso, but there is some sneaky pop in his left-handed bat. Added strength has helped as he’s shown the ability to drive the ball for extra bases. He was completely overmatched in the AFL in 2018, but in 2019, he was punishing the ball on a regular basis. He may top out at 10-12 homers, but he can drive the ball the other way and there could be more power to come as he continues to get stronger.
Run (60): A plus runner who really likes to use his speed, Giménez is a definite basestealing threat, one who stole 66 bases in 2018-19 combined. He also got caught 30 times in that span, showing there’s still work to be done on the efficiency front, but don’t be surprised to see him appear late in games this summer as a pinch-runner.
Arm (60): He’s always had plenty of arm strength, more than enough to make throws from any place on the infield, even deep in the hole at shortstop. It’s not only strong, but it’s accurate as well.
Field (60): The one thing Giménez could assuredly do in the big leagues right now is play shortstop defensively every day. His speed, particularly his first-step quickness, allows him to have outstanding range in all directions and that, along with his instincts, allows him to get to balls everywhere. He has soft hands and excellent footwork to boot and while he likely won’t see much time at short right now, his defensive IQ will allow him to help the Mets at any of the three infield spots they need him to play in the short-term.
Jonathan Mayo is a reporter for MLBPipeline.com. Follow him on Twitter @JonathanMayo and Facebook, and listen to him on the weekly Pipeline Podcast.