(Photo Credit: Baseball America)

I’m back, and it took a while to get done with this semester, but I come back with a vengeance, and I bring you one promising prospect you really don’t want to miss. This kid surprised all of us by skipping stateside rookie leagues and going directly to Full Season-A Ball. His name is….

SS Andres Gimenez

L/R, 6’0″ 165 lbs, 9/4/1998 (18), Signed for $1.2 million in 2014 out of Barquisimeto, Venezuela

Instead of posting stats in-season, we’re ending that feature while they change nightly. Click on his name to find his stats via Baseball Reference.

Gimenez was the second best player in the IFA Market for the 2014-2015 signing period after Vladimir Guerrero‘s son. Vlad Jr. Signed with the Blue Jays for 3.9 million dollars. After him was Gimenez, the most advanced bat out of Venezuela for 1.2 million. While many other teams paid bigger bonuses for players, Gimenez was signed for this low-balled bonus was because Venezuela’s atmosphere and unfortunate circumstances gives players low leverage and less ability for scouts to be sure enough to give a higher dollar on the muscle, so he got much less money. In turn, his bonus with the Mets wasn’t the highest: Gregory Guerrero, Vlad’s Nephew, who was also in the class, had the highest bonus at 1.5 Million. Nevertheless, Andres, despite his diminutive size was lauded as one of the top bats in the class.

It showed in his first season as a pro for the Dominican Summer League from his first time swinging the bat in a pro uniform. With the bases loaded in his first plate appearance, he hit a grand slam, and from there, he took off. Gimenez tore through the Dominican Summer League like a lightsaber through bread, leaving pitchers sizzling with anger. Gimenez’s season included 20 doubles, four triples, and three homers in 62 games with a .350/.469/.523 line and 46 walks to 22 strikeouts. It got back to stateside, with several teams requesting for Gimenez in trades at the July 31st Trading Deadline.

Gimenez’s dominance got us all excited, and several superlatives and the ticket stateside. In extended spring training, it looked as though he would be slated for one of the short season rookie leagues, and instead destroyed the extended league, solidifying consideration to be called up to A-ball. Currently, he’s holding his own there, and once again started out the year with a home run in his first plate appearance.

Gimenez is small-ish, definitely shorter than the listed 6 feet tall, and pretty much skinny like a string bean. He definitely looks the part of an 18 year old. Gimenez, however does not play like one, with a plan of what to do at the play with a level left-handed swing and plus bat speed. The swing is geared towards the gaps rather than power, and with his size currently, it doesn’t figure to be a large part of his future with the current projection. With teenagers from the international ranks, this can certainly change. Gimenez has a great eye at the plate, and will take a walk. Overall, Gimenez has the chance to have a very special bat that could hit for high averages and on base percentages and be a fast riser in the organization in the next few years.

Defensively, he’s a shortstop with good actions and a plus arm, but if Amed Rosario is the future at Shortstop, Gimenez could find himself in other positions. He also can have slight mental lapses and make mistakes in the field, boggling some scouts I’ve spoken with. With plus speed and a plus arm, he could possibly find himself in center, or at second base, or even third base if the Mets decide to experiment with his positions.

This is a guy to keep an eye on moving forward, and watch his box scores, because he may do some amazing things. This seems like a steal at 1.2 million, and possibly the Mets top overall prospect in a year or two.

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