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Andres Gimenez Plays Above His 19 Years

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BEST PLAYER

Shortstop Andres Gimenez began the season regarded by many as the organization’s top prospect. The 19-year-old has remained at that level by playing well at high Class A St. Lucie.

Through 75 games he hit .269/.342/.410 with five home runs and 26 stolen bases while continuing to impress organizational officials with his defense.

"Instincts and baseball aptitude are strengths,” a Mets talent evaluator said. "He makes adjustments, but he still has physical maturity ahead. He has a plus arm, plus glove and the potential to hit better as he gets stronger.”

The Venezuela native signed in 2015 and spent last season at low Class A Columbia, where he produced a .265/.346/.349 slash line in 92 games as the rare 18-year-old regular in full-season ball. Team officials have noted Gimenez's plate discipline is beyond his years.

BIGGEST LEAP FORWARD

Jeff McNeil was a blip on the radar when the season began, but the 26-year-old utility infielder was on the cusp of a callup to the Mets after an impressive two months at Double-A Binghamton that led to a June promotion to Triple-A Las Vegas.

The 12th-round pick in 2013 went 33-for-82 (.402) with four home runs through his first 20 games for Vegas.

"He’s finally healthy and moving around better,” the Mets talent evaluator said. "He could always hit, and now he is moving better than ever before. He has a simple setup at the plate with a good swing and knows the strike zone.”

The evaluator noted that McNeil is primarily a second baseman and third baseman, but he can probably add first base and become a "lefthanded Wilmer Flores type” for the Mets.

McNeil, a former Long Beach State standout, played just 48 games last season because of a groin injury. He missed almost the entire 2016 season after having hip surgery.

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Game Instincts Elevate Andres Gimenez

The 21-year-old shortstop won the Arizona Fall League batting title, but it's really his instincts and feel for the game that set him apart.

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