How does Andres Gimenez fit into the infield?

New York Mets prospect Andres Gimenez (3) poses for a photo before the baseball game against the Marlins at Marlins’ minor league complex in Jupiter, Florida, Wednesday, April 26, 2017. (Gordon Donovan)

Finally, it seems that Amed Rosario has taken the next step in his major league career. After being bounced around the lineup, seemingly not being able to find consistency, it seems as if he has turned the corner at the leadoff spot. The month of August was a landmark month in terms of his statistics, as he posted a .286 batting average, paired with 16 RBIs and a .730 OPS. All of these marks were the highest that they have been all season. This might finally be the Rosario that we all imagined when he was coming up through the system, and it looks like he has finally found a home at leadoff.

Another force has appeared at the top of the lineup, and it just happens to be Rosario’s double play partner. Jeff McNeil, who at the beginning of the season was known as a September call-up hopeful, has quickly escalated in the eyes of Mets fans and the front office alike. He has a natural left handed bat, and seems to always be able to get a hit in the most unlikely situations. In August, the first full month of his major league career, he delivered a .330 average with 12 RBIs and a .849 OPS. McNeil and Rosario together have so far been dynamic together up the middle, and it has Mets fans excited for the potential up the middle combination for the for seeable future. All of this is great news, except possibly for a big time Mets prospect who is waiting in the wings.

At 20 years old, Venezuela native Andres Gimenez is ranked by MLB.com as the top prospect in the Mets system, and the 57th ranked prospect across all of baseball. He is an elite batting talent that also has upside in terms of being able to field the ball up the middle. All of this potential and upside is awesome, but at the end of the day, where do you stick him when he gets called up? He is of course listed as a shortstop, but with the way that Rosario is playing, how could you possibly rip him from the position?

Well, your first instinct is to move Gimenez over to second base once he gets promoted. If Gimenez is an elite fielder, the Mets might actually be inclined to move Rosario to second base, rather than Gimenez. There have been times this season where Rosario has shown a lack of focus in the field, and has come up short on basic plays. In that sense, it would make sense to move him to second. But if either Rosario or Gimenez are occupying that second base position, that would displace McNeil. McNeil is not as adept in the field as Rosario and Gimenez, and that has shown on the major league level. His biggest struggle might be the transfer of the ball when turning the double play.

McNeil has shown such a strong bat so far, that it would be hard to fathom him not being in the lineup. So, who gets moved, and who is the odd man out once Gimenez eventually arrives? It is going to be interesting decision, and luckily for the Mets, they won’t have to make it for a while.

17 comments for “How does Andres Gimenez fit into the infield?

  1. Rae
    September 8, 2018 at 8:02 am

    McNeil needs to play CF. He has played the OF in the minors so it is not a foreign position for him. McNeil also has enough speed to play CF. I am sure the Mets need to talk to him about both improving his IF and OF defensive parameters so If I was in charge of the Mets I would send him to the Arizona fall league to work on learning to play a professional CF, in addition to IF. A lineup with Rosario, McNeil, Giminez, Conforto, sign Wilson Ramos to play catcher as he has a strong righthand bat, Nimmo, eventually Alonso, and hopefully Thompson who would be helped tremendously by truly learning how to play 3B from Todd Frazier which sounds like a really good thing to me.

    • Madman
      September 8, 2018 at 1:40 pm

      CF should be played by a very good defensive player. It is not a position where you put a guy who can hit a little but doesn’t have a position. Those guys you put at first or in LF.

  2. Pete from NJ
    September 8, 2018 at 8:55 am

    Gimenez, if things play out starts next season at AAA. Then he would be the 1st guy in when an infielder goes down with an injury. Gimenez playing at an elite level as a replacement would cause another decision.

    Too soon to even think about. Let the young player develop on his own pace.

  3. Steve S.
    September 8, 2018 at 10:14 am

    McNeil could play at 3B.

  4. Mikeyrad
    September 8, 2018 at 12:05 pm

    So far, Rosario is a minus defender at SS. Move him to 3b in 2020.

  5. Dan
    September 8, 2018 at 12:41 pm

    McNeil is adequate at 2b and is so far the best bat of the 3 (small sample size).
    I hear Gimenez is supposed to be an elite SS (never watched him but lets suppose this is true).
    Rosario has been coming around with the bat but his defense at SS is up and down.
    When Gimenez is ready I’d play him at SS, McNeil at 2b and move Rosario to 3B (he has a strong arm and would have plus rage at the position.

  6. Mikeyrad
    September 8, 2018 at 1:21 pm

    Rosario’s defensive metrics aren’t very good. Move him to 3b when Gimenez is ready.

  7. Chris F
    September 8, 2018 at 1:53 pm

    For what its worth.

    McNeil. I move him to 3B and have Frazier and Wright be his mentors. You couldnt go wrong. He hs played the most games ever, by far, in one season this year. We still dont know what this guys has, but he plays hard. He has a no screw around demeanor. He has played 3B. I think he has a strong accurate arm.

    Rosario. I move him to 2B. As much hype that surrounds Rosario, we see the drama more than is necessary. He is careless and flashy. He makes a ton of unforced errors. He is very slow from glove to throw. His arm isnt all that IMO. His tags are unprofessional. I cant see him lasting at SS defensively, especially if there is a better person behind (there seems to be, but David is better speak to this)/ The throw from 2B shorter, gives him more time for the lazy shuffle he seems to need.

    Gimenez. SS. Everyone is absolutely thrilled with him. He is rocketing through the system. Hi scouting on criticl things for SS are all quite strong: 60 arm, 60 speed, 55 field…and 55 for hit. Ill take those numbers at SS.

    • TJ
      September 8, 2018 at 2:22 pm

      Chris,
      Agree that Gimenez profiles better at SS than Rosario (as per scouts). Additionally, in the small sample, McNeil looks like a nice player…but, the sample is small. I’m not sure about his arm at 3B, and I certainly wouldn’t move him to CF. He has looked better than I thought at 2B,so I’d be inclined to keep him there. The question for me is whether Rosario fits better at 3B or CF once Gimenez graduates. In either case, I am not for learning a new position at the big league level. These are actually good problems to have..three middle infielders that could all be above average, with hopefully one of the three growing into an all-star caliber player. My two cents still says that for 2019 they need to solve the pen as job one, next come up with a quality two way player in CF, then solidify the C position (a LH bat with strong defense would fit nicely). That is a total of four quality, above average MLB proven additions, via free agency and/or trade. Extending Jake and Wheeler would make a great staement as well. Quite doable with the right person in charge and some financial flexibility.

      • Metsense
        September 8, 2018 at 2:54 pm

        Thoughtful comment. Good points.

    • Dan
      September 8, 2018 at 7:09 pm

      Id Rather just move Rosario to 3b.
      Why teach 2 players new positions and Rosario has a strong arm for 3b

  8. Pal88
    September 8, 2018 at 2:05 pm

    Some would say this is a nice problem to have but for me it will lead to one of the three in an unnatural position. This usually screws up their offensive ability.

    I don’t have an answer other than use one of them in an offer for Realmuto along with Matz and see if it gets the desired interest from the Marlins.

    • Madman
      September 8, 2018 at 7:31 pm

      Conforto and Matz for Realmuto. That one the Marlins might do.

  9. Zozo
    September 8, 2018 at 2:46 pm

    I would put A Centerfielders glove on Rosario and tell him that’s his new position and to learn it ASAP. Sign Machado and tell him to move to 3rd base once Gimenez comes up and give him $250 million reasons why to move there.

  10. Metsense
    September 8, 2018 at 3:12 pm

    Boy Dalton, isn’t it nice to have these problems? I think Gimenez is is going to be better than Rosario. And I think McNeil will be displacing Frasier in 2020 when Frazier’scontract is up. As for Rosario, he is mirroring Jose Reyes career. Check out Reyes first 3 years and you can see that it’s very similar. The next year, Reyes became an All-Star. Even if that is said about Rosario, I think he is going to be moved to second base because of gimenez.

    • Chris F
      September 8, 2018 at 5:01 pm

      I see the same thing Metsense. I actually have cooled off on Rosario. He is gifted, but has been so poorly trained I am afraid he wont hit his ceiling.

      I would never put Rosario at 3B or CF, both positions where string arms are required. He doesnt have one, and is quite slow. The best 3B can cross the diamond with a bullet fading to the line. Id be shocked if he cleared the 1B cutout. Same with CF, although his speed certainly would be a plus.

  11. Name
    September 8, 2018 at 7:56 pm

    These things tend to work themselves out, usually due to poor performance for someone.

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