Part 3 in a series analyzing the New York Mets’ top prospects
Amed Rosario is 24 and entrenched at shortstop. Ronny Mauricio is considered the Mets’ top prospect, though he’s just 19.
Then there’s Andres Gimenez, 21, who was ticketed for Triple-A Syracuse before the COVID-19 pandemic shut down spring training in March.
It’s hard to know just where Gimenez will fit in the future, but an expanded roster in an abbreviated season could open up a spot in the majors for him as a potential backup to Rosario at short and even Robinson Cano at second base.
That would be fine with Gimenez, who was savoring time in major league camp during the spring — especially learning from Cano.
“Playing with him is something I dreamed about,’’ Gimenez said this spring. “Robinson Cano is a guy I always watched on TV. He’s a role model. He always has the right advice for young guys who want to learn about the game.’’
Gimenez said Cano has been helpful in him improving turning double plays.
“I feel really good defensively at shortstop, and I know being better at double plays is one more step,’’ Gimenez said. “He’s played with so many great ones that he knows what I need to do to get better.’’
The same goes for Rosario, who said he was trying to give Gimenez the same assistance Cano and Jose Reyes gave him when he was a minor leaguer.
“He’s a tremendous talent,’’ Rosario said through a translator. “He has incredible skills. The energy he brings for the team is different. That’s not easy to have every day, but he does. I’ve been in the situation where I was coming up through the ranks, so I’m just trying to give him all the knowledge I learned through the years.’’
That goes for Mauricio, as well.
“I’m gonna do whatever I can for them, like the other guys did for me when I was coming up,’’ Rosario said. “It doesn’t matter if we play the same position, I want those guys to be as good as they can be. They’re so young and so talented. It’s a hard season, and I think there’s a lot I can give them.’’
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Gimenez, a lefty swinger from Venezuela, will need to cut down on his strikeouts, but what stands out most to Luis Rojas, who managed Gimenez at Double-A Binghamton in 2018 and could again this season at some point in Queens, is his vigor.
“Gimenez has a lot of energy,’’ Rojas said. “It seems like he’s everywhere there at short. He’s getting more comfortable around the bag. And you can see from years past, he’s put a little muscle on him and been able to stay back on pitches more.’’
His offense needs work, but Rojas is confident that will come around.
“He’s a very smart kid,’’ the manager said. “His baseball IQ is high and if he matches that with [strength], then we’re looking at someone who can be very special.”
And though he had the chance, he tried to make the most of his time around Cano, Rosario and the other major leaguers.
“I feel like I’m stronger with both my body and my mind than I was last year,’’ Gimenez said. “I’m happy to have this chance and want to show I can play at this level.”