New York Mets rookie Andres Gimenez brings things to the table that New York Mets fans haven’t seen in quite a while.
Throughout all of the frustration and mediocrity that the 2020 New York Mets have displayed thus far, one of the lone bright spots has been the unexpected early arrival of Andres Gimenez.
It wasn’t long ago that the 21-year-old Gimenez was arguably the top prospect in the Mets farm system and it’s easy to see why considering what we’ve seen so far from the rookie, albeit a small sample size. If it weren’t for a bit of a shaky season at Double-A in 2019 in which he hit .250 in 117 games as a 20-year-old, his immediate impact may have been less surprising. But what a pleasant surprise Gimenez has been.
Although he won’t even turn 22 until next month, Gimenez plays the game with the mind of a veteran and brings instincts to Mets that were sorely lacking prior to him joining the club. For example, during the first inning vs the Nationals this past Tuesday, Victor Robles hit a bloop down the third base line, driving in Howie Kendrick.
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When Brandon Nimmo and Gimenez converged on the ball, Nimmo picked it up and was unsure what to do with it. Gimenez noticed this and pointed with his glove to second base, causing Nimmo to make the throw and nab Robles who was trying to stretch a single into a double.
These aren’t things that show up in the box score, but they’re what separates a winning and losing ball club.
Obviously there are going to be plenty of comparisons between Gimenez and Amed Rosario, but for now, the Mets need to find ways to get both of them in the lineup every day. It shouldn’t be a cut and dry one or the other.
Although Rosario has struggled to start the 2020 season, the Mets have invested too much time and effort into developing him just kick him to the curb for a rookie who has had a few good weeks.
Luckily for the Mets, Gimenez – who is a natural shortstop- has shown that he can play above-average defense at both second and third base. This gives the Mets more flexibility and the ability to put both Rosario and Gimenez in the same lineup.
Unlike Rosario, Gimenez doesn’t rely solely on his talent to get him by. His baseball IQ is elite for his age and he shows an aggressiveness on the base paths that we’ve yet to consistently see from Rosario despite his well above-average speed. During his first 21 games in the big leagues, Gimenez has already stolen 6 bases, which leads the team. If this were a 162 game season, Gimenez would be on pace to steal over 40 bases, something that hasn’t been done by a Met since Eric Young Jr in 2013.
To go along with the speed, and heads up plays, Gimenez is also very creative when it comes to finding ways to get on base. Twice already, the 21-year-old has laid down a beautiful drag bunt for an infield single. When was the last time we saw that out of a Met? It’s the little things that make the biggest difference.
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While speaking with reporters this past week, manager Luis Rojas described the rookie perfectly by saying “This kid is a player.” That’s the best compliment Gimenez can receive. He does everything well. He is indeed, a player.