Teenager Andres Gimenez Stands Out From Crowd

A discussion of the top players in the Mets’ farm system often begins with slick-fielding shortstop Andres Gimenez. Factor in his advanced on-base ability, and the Mets believe they have a special player in the 19-year-old Venezuelan.

Gimenez ended 2017 as the Mets’ top prospect, ahead of lefthander David Peterson and righthander Justin Dunn. The organization’s top prospect heading into 2017, Amed Rosario, arrived at the big leagues in August and is expected to be the Mets’ everyday shortstop in 2018.

Gimenez, who signed for $1.2 million in 2015, hit .265/.346/.349 with four home runs in 92 games last season at low Class A Columbia, where he played almost exclusively at shortstop. But there is thought in the Mets organization that Gimenez’s future will come at second base, given Rosario’s recent arrival to the majors.

“We think (Gimenez) is a pretty special one,” assistant general manager John Ricco said. “We were pretty aggressive with pushing him to Columbia last year at 18 years old, and he held his own, clearly, there.

“Everybody who sees him raves about his ability, and it’s not just his talent, but it’s his makeup and instincts for the game. He just stands out, and that is why we feel comfortable pushing him, because he does have such a good feel for the game.”

Gimenez, who bats lefthanded, is advanced for his age in terms of plate discipline, according to a scout who has watched him extensively. In his pro debut in the Dominican Summer League in 2016, he hit .350/.469/.523 and led the league in on-base percentage.

“I think we are going to see some power from him down the road,” the scout said, “and he’s got a very good idea of the strike zone for a young kid.”

Among infielders in the Mets’ system, only Luis Guillermo rates ahead of Gimenez defensively, according to a major league talent evaluator.

“(Gimenez) is smart and has sure hands,” the evaluator said. “He has a plus arm that is accurate. He is solid.”

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