Andres Gimenez Is Mature Beyond His Years
The four players the Indians received from the Mets in the trade that sent Francisco Lindor and Carlos Carrasco to New York included two shortstops, which doubles the Indians’ chances of finding a suitable replacement for Lindor.
Cleveland acquired 25-year-old Amed Rosario, the Mets’ shortstop the last three years, and 22-year-old shortstop-in-waiting Andres Gimenez, who made his major league debut in 2020 and started 22 games at short for the Mets last year.
“Rosario is very athletic and has a chance to help our major league team at shortstop, or multiple positions,” Indians president Chris Antonetti said. “Gimenez is mature beyond his years. He is a young, athletic, lefthanded-hitting infielder with a chance to develop into a productive major league hitter.
"His defense at shortstop is probably his calling card, but he’s also a really adept baserunner, has a good feel for the game, and transitioned seamlessly to the big leagues.”
Gimenez signed with the Mets out of Venezuela in 2015. He knows the value of speed, because it never goes into slumps.
“My speed can be an important difference in any game,” he said.
Gimenez said he was "a little shocked and surprised by the trade,” but that he relishes the opportunity to play shortstop for the same team as Omar Vizquel, his countryman and boyhood idol.
“I’m living a dream,” Gimenez said. “Getting to play in the same place my idol did.”
Gimenez emerged as a hitter in 2019, when he won the Arizona Fall League batting title with a .371 average. As a rookie in 2020 he hit .263/.333/.398 with eight stolen bases in nine attempts.
Reaching the big leagues for the first time last year was an eye-opener for Gimenez. “The game is a lot faster, and you’re facing the best of the best, but I learned a lot about myself as a player,” he said.
Gimenez said he doesn’t feel any pressure coming to Cleveland as one of the players traded for the popular Lindor.
“It’s a privilege and an honor to be traded for Lindor,” he said. “It’s motivation for me to get better, so I can help our team win.”
— When the Indians re-signed free agent second baseman Cesar Hernandez, who led the American League in doubles and won a Gold Glove in 2020, it eliminated one potential defensive configuration in which Andres Gimenez and Amed Rosario could have slotted into shortstop and second base in 2021. Instead, one of them will likely play short, with the other in a utility role.
— The Indians signed 15 players when the international signing period opened, and in keeping with the organization’s long-held fondness for middle infielders, eight of the 15 were listed as shortstops, the headliners being Austin Aldeano from Panama and Angel Genao from the Dominican Republic.