Our last “Views From the Field” article was on Mets prospect Brett Baty. Today, our next “Views From the Field” is on Red Sox outfield Gilberto Jimenez.
Gilberto Jimenez was signed out of the Dominican Republic by the Red Sox in 2017. Signed for just $10,000, you wouldn’t think he would be on the radar as a top prospect, but he’s impressed thus far. The switch-hitting Jimenez batted .319 in 2018 in the Dominican Summer League, his first season playing professionally. While he didn’t hit for too much power in 2018 (.101 ISO), he did get on base at a good clip (.384 OBP) while flashing good speed, stealing 16 bases.
This past year, however, was when Jimenez emerged as one of the top prospects in the Red Sox system. Jimenez played in Lowell in 2019 (SS-A), and won the New York-Penn League batting crown, hitting .359 while posting a .863 OPS, along with 17 XBH and 14 stolen bases. Jimenez’s stellar season won him several awards, as not only was he a NYPL All-Star, he was named a Red Sox Organizational All-Star by MiLB.com, and a Short-Season All-Star by Baseball America.
Jimenez’s success certainly has some Red Sox fans salivating at his potential, and the organization is also pleased with his development so far. On Jimenez, Red Sox Assistant GM Eddie Romero told MassLive.com back in July, “Obviously there’s exciting four- or-five tool potential there. And for him to have success this early on, especially with not having been a switch-hitter for a long time, we’re really excited to see about his potential. The fact that he’s gotten off to this kind of start is really, really good for him.”
Views From the Field: Gilberto Jimenez
FH Freeway got a chance to see Jimenez in September during the NYPL Playoffs. Here’s are our thoughts on the switch-hitting outfielder from the Dominican Republic:
- Jimenez is very wiry, and from a physical standpoint, it’s very clear he has a lot of filling out to do. Standing at 5’11” and just 160 pounds, he should be able to add at least 15-20 pounds while moving up the ranks.
- Jimenez definitely is a contact-first player, and his slap-ball approach and extreme ground ball-rates (2.27 GO/AO rate) indicates he’ll most likely won’t be hitting too many line drives and home runs.
- Jimenez’s plate discipline will need some work, as he likes to jump on pitches, even if they are out of the zone. Jimenez had one long at-bat at the game we were at (September 9 vs. Brooklyn) where Jimenez had a nine pitch at-bat, fouling off seven of them (several of those were out the zone) and whiffing at two off them off the plate. He’ll take a pitch every now and then, but his plate discipline will need to improve as he moves up the ranks.
- Jimenez has some good bat speed, but one thing that’ll be interesting to watch is how he’ll fill out. Even though he profiles to be a contact hitter, he still has the potential to be a 10-15 HR player. However, only time will tell as to how much strength he will add.
- Jimenez has explosive speed, and that may very well be his carrying card. Jimenez’s plus speed means he should be able to stick at CF, and should be an average to above-average defender at the position.
- Jimenez is also getting better on the basepaths. Jimenez sported a 70% success rate at stealing bases in 2019, which is an improvement from the 53% success rate he had in 2018.
Here is FH Freeway‘s future grades for Gilberto Jimenez:
- Hit – 50
- Power – 40
- Run – 60
- Arm – 50
- Field – 55
- Overall – 55 (Extreme)
Our future grades are a bit aggressive, based in part that Jimenez still has a bit of filling out to do. However, that doesn’t change the fact that he possesses a lot of potential. Even if he doesn’t hit his ceiling as a first-division regular, he could still be a bottom-of-the-order hitter for a MLB team. The biggest question, however, is whether he can calm his aggressive approach at the plate. While he may be able to get away at chasing in the lower levels of the minor leagues, he won’t at higher levels.
If you’ve missed any of our “Views From the Field” articles, be sure to click this link to catch up on our latest report. And be sure to keep checking out the FH Freeway site, as well as follow our social media channels, for all the latest news and opinions on all things baseball.