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.