Prospect watch lists, opposing pitchers and what lies next doesn’t concern Mets minor-league middle infielder Andres Gimenez.
Gimenez, the Mets’ No. 3 prospect according to MLB Pipeline, has been turning heads since he was a teenager in Venezuela. After signing a minor-league contract with the Mets for $1.2 million in 2015, the 20-year-old shortstop has worked his way up to the team’s Double-A affiliate, the Binghamton Rumble Ponies.
With fans keeping a close eye as to when his call to the major leagues could come, the shortstop had a slow start to the season. But in July, Gimenez showed more of the caliber of player at the top of watch lists, posting a .295/.337/.500 slashline with three home runs, 11 RBIs and 10 runs for the month. Gimenez also blasted a home run off Casey Mize, the top pitching prospect and second overall prospect according to MLB Pipeline, as the Rumble Ponies handed the Tigers prospect his first loss of the season July 31.
“It’s just another pitcher,” said Gimenez in a phone interview Thursday through bench coach Ender Chavez, who also serves as a translator. “I don’t think like, ‘Oh, he’s a prospect also.’ I’m just going up there and trying to put my best swing on it.”
Gimenez has been doing that with increasing success the past month, especially in the power department. He hit six home runs in 85 games in Class A St. Lucie last season, although no longballs in 37 games with Binghamton in 2018.
The lefthander hit three home runs last month — tied for his most in any month since his professional debut in 2016. But Gimenez said he hasn’t changed at the plate.
“I’m just going to home plate and trying to make good contact,” Gimenez said. “Good [at-bats].”
One part of his game which has never wavered is his speed and aggression on the bases. With a smaller frame at 5-11, 161 pounds, Gimenez makes the most of his skills on the basepaths. He leads the Rumble Ponies with 21 stolen bases and had 38 stolen bases last season — including 10 in Binghamton.
“I just focus on trying to get the extra-base every time I can,” Gimenez said. “And take advantage and keep working on it.”
Gimenez, who was ranked No. 15 on MLB.com's Top 30 International Prospects list when signed in 2015, is currently the 94th ranked overall prospect in baseball. He has a .245/.310/.379 slashline with six home runs, 28 RBIs and 47 runs this season through Thursday.
“He’s a really exciting player and I’m glad to have him on the team this year so I can practice with him and watch him play,” Chavez said. “It’s fun to watch him play every day.”
Chavez is eager for the day he’ll be able to watch Gimenez compete with the major-league team. When reports came out about the Mets considering using shortstop Amed Rosario in centerfield, part of the reasoning was centered around Gimenez’s potential arrival in Flushing.
But Gimenez isn’t getting ahead of himself yet, still focusing on improving his skills so that if and when that call to the major league comes, he’ll be ready.
“I get up every day and that’s the dream, trying to make it to the big leagues, but also I realize I can’t control that,” he said. “I’m not the one making the calls, so I’m focused on going out there and developing and trying to do my best every day.”
“He’s a complete player,” Chavez said. “To me, he has the defense, he has the offense, too, he just needs to keep developing his abilities and just keep playing. And whenever the call comes, we’re all going to be happy about it.”
Bats: Lefty, Throws: Righty
20 years old
5-foot-11, 161 pounds
Signed for $1.2 million as an international free agent in July 2015
As of August 1
.245/.310/.379, six HRs, 28 RBIs, 47 runs, 21 SBs
Over the month of July
.295/.337/.500, three HRs, 11 RBIs, 10 runs, six SBs