Image: USA Today
2021 age: 22
Bats: Left; Throws: Right
Contract: Pre-Arb 1 (3 options left)
2020 stats: .263/.333/.398 – three homers, eight steals, 12 RBI, 104 wRC+, 0.8 fWAR
2020 in review: Gimenez skipped over Triple-A and made his major league debut in the 2020 shortened season. He ended up usurping Amed Rosario for reps at shortstop at the major league level for the Mets. He held his own despite being 21 and in the majors after just reaching Double-A in 2019. Then he was shipped to Cleveland with Rosario in January of 2021 for Francisco Lindor and Carlos Carrasco.
Offensive impact: In the minors, Gimenez wasn’t much of a power hitter but made plenty of contact, avoiding strikeouts but also not walking much either. His walk rate in the minors was usually beween 5% and 6% and his strikeout rate between 15%-20%. He settled in last year with a 5.3% walk rate and a 21.2% strikeout rate in his first taste of the majors. Gimenez doesn’t hit the ball particularly loud and generally sprays the ball around, though he had a 50% pull rate in 2020. He does hit more grounders than anything else (50%) but 21.7% line drives and 33.7% fly balls. Gimenez is also a good runner and stole 28 bases in Double-A in 2019, so he can provide offensive value that way.
Defensive impact: Fangraphs’ Defensive Runs Saved had Gimenez at +1 at shortstop last year as well as second and third base, so he’s a solid defender all around the infield. He grades out with an above average arm so he can play the left side of the infield. He was in the 99th percentile in Outs Above Average in Statcast’s ratings.
Beyond the stats: Gimenez didn’t impact the ball very hard in 2020, but he did have an optimal launch angle (13.5), which is around the mark players like Juan Soto and Francisco Lindor have had. Gimenez needs to hit the ball harder to barrel the ball, however Jose Ramirez only averages 88mph exit velocity. Gimenez was around 86. If he can add strength, take harder cuts, or select more pitches he can drive, he could increase his power output. That isn’t to say he’ll hit the ball like Ramirez, but he can hit for more power than he has in the past with just a slight increase. Another positive note, Gimenez had a .737 OPS against left handers and .730 against right handers, so despite being a left handed hitter he didn’t have any major platoon split issues in his debut.
2021 role: It looks like Gimenez will be battling for time at shortstop again with Amed Rosario. Cleveland could opt to send him to the minors to start the year to
have him work on his leadoffs and bunting get an extra year of service from him. He’ll see time in the majors at some point, but it depends on when and how the spring goes, and how they decide to handle Rosario’s role.
Fantasy impact: Keep on eye on his battle in spring with Rosario to see if he wins the job. He’s a lower-tier option as far as fantasy shortstops go, but he could provide 10 homer, 20 steal upside without ruining your rate stats if he plays all year. At the least he’s a good bench option to have as a shortstop, second basemen, third basemen, a MI or CI since he qualifies at all three infield spots.