Gilberto Jimenez arrived in professional baseball in 2017 without distinction. He was a righthanded-hitting outfielder who hadn’t been part of the prospect showcase circuit before signing with the Red Sox out of the Dominican Republic for a mere $10,000.
Yet in his pro debut in the Dominican Summer League, Jimenez rapidly emerged as one of the most intriguing prospects in the system.
He is an electrifying athlete with the natural hand-eye coordination to jump into switch-hitting on the fly and thrive while doing so as he hit .319/.384/.420 with 18 extra-base hits and 16 steals in 30 attempts in 67 games.
Though Jimenez’s swing remains less refined from the left side, he still hit .350/.416/.478 from his “weak” side in his debut. Overall he struck out at a modest 14.1 percent rate.
“Obviously (it) takes time to adjust (to) seeing spin from different angles, let alone feeling comfortable and competitive mechanically,” assistant general manager Eddie Romero said, “but our staff in addition to Jimenez himself are really encouraged.”
Jimenez is a powerful athlete with raw strength, but for now his swing is geared more for line drives than homers. Still, the mere fact that he has shown the aptitude to get the bat on the ball as a lefthanded hitter offers a glimpse into a player capable of learning quickly, something that hints at the possibility for significant offensive growth.
Given Jimenez’s outstanding speed—he earns at least a plus grade and some 70s from scouts—and an above-average arm, he has the potential for above-average defense in center field or right. The Red Sox believe he has above-average offensive potential as well.
Jimenez likely will open 2019 with short-season Lowell of the New York-Penn League. A strong or even solid performance there could vault him near the top of the organization’s prospect ranking.
— Third baseman Bobby Dalbec became the first player for the Double-A Portland Sea Dogs in the history of that franchise’s affiliation with the Red Sox (dating to 2003) to hit three homers in a game when he did so on May 11.
— Triple-A Pawtucket first baseman Josh Ockimey had hit seven homers through May 27, eclipsing his previous best single month total of five.