A 20-year-old shortstop playing in AA-Binghamton and managing an OPS around .700 is nothing to sneeze at. Though top prospects should not be hammering out paltry .241/.305/.378 batting lines either. When we began the year, people had Andres Gimenez and Pete Alonso as the top two prospects in the Met system. Most, in fact, labeled Gimenez as the better of the two. Most of a season later and it seems that Alonso was the far wiser bet.
Gimenez had played 109 games in the 2019 season, all of them at the shortstop position. A player that should have been fighting to move Amed Rosario into centerfield seems to have taken a step back with production below his typical minor league levels. While his defensive numbers have been steady, everyone wants to know why he just isn’t hitting like we expected.
We may never know why. Outside of the DSL Gimenez has never looked like a superstar slugger or the next Jose Reyes. He has been steady in producing a near .700 OPS in most of the levels he’s played. With a .683 OPS, what makes his 2019 production seem so bad?
The answer is partially the fault of the fans, who expect players labeled “Top Prospect” to never stumble and partially because Gimenez has never been great at taking walks and he’s only gotten worse in this capacity. Not only has he hit for a lower average but the difference in his OBP is marked but I actually think it’s more of the former than the latter.
Hope at the End of the Tunnel
In the past week things have been looking up for Gimenez, who has two home runs and has hit .316 over the last 10 games. More importantly, his numbers indicate that he still looks like a 15 homerun, 30 stolen base shortstop who should be bringing a Plus glove with him to the major league level.
I won’t deny that he’s been supplanted by the likes of Ronny Mauricio, Mark Vientos and Francisco Alvarez at the top of the prospect rankings but it’s good to take a moment and remember that Gimenez still looks like a bonafide major league shortstop and will only be twenty one years old in 2020.
Ali Sanchez succeeding without being noticed – The defensive catcher has not appeared to hit that well since his promotion to AAA, hitting only .257 without any home runs, but his OPS is .737 which is plenty good to get Sanchez into the conversation for 2020.
Harol Gonzalez shrugs off promotion – Most players get a bit knocked around when they go up a level nut through his first 30.1 innings in AAA he’s got a 2.67 ERA and a 0.87 WHIP.
Binghamton Rumble Ponies
Patrick Mazeika needs to catch – His bat has been good in 2019 and the .445 SLG is a great sign but it’s far less special from a 1B/DH than it is from a catcher.
Stephen Villines goes long – For a relief pitcher going 3.0 innings is not a common sight but Villines did just that, scattering three hits and striking out 4 in scoreless work.
St. Lucie Mets
Thomas Szapucki pitches six – This marks the longest outing since coming back from injury and should only make fans more optimistic about his future.
Mark Vientos is back from injury – He had been looking like he was about to catch fire before getting hurt. Let’s hope he can bounce back.
Garrison Bryant looks like he’s Top of the Class – Entering into 2020 he’ll likely be the top pitcher in the Columbia Fireflies’ rotation.
Scott Ota is ready for more – At 22 he’s doing well in Kingsport but is too much older than the other players for it to matter.
Francisco Alvarez adds two – He launched two home runs on Saturday continuing a great Met prospect debut season.