Feature Photo: Andres Gimenez, SS, Mets
Editor’s Note: We’ve added all of our recent scouting reports, spotlights, and live video from the Arizona Fall League to our 2018 sortable libraries at the links below:
Also, be sure to check out our podcasts page for episodes of Defensive Indifference (AFL Edition) with your hosts Ryan Sullivan and John “Uncle Jack” Eshleman.
You can read all of our Arizona Fall League updates at this link.
Featured AFL Videos
- Abraham Toro, 3B, Astros (Scottsdale Scorpions)
- Kyle Muller, LHP, Braves (Peoria Javelinas)
- Yu Chang, 3B, Indians (Glendale Desert Dogs)
- Jordan Mills, LHP, Nationals (Salt River Rafters)
- Daniel Woodrow, OF, Tigers (Mesa Solar Sox)
Featured AFL Reports
- Khalil Lee, OF, Royals (Surprise Saguaros) -Adam McInturff
- Jordan Yamamoto, RHP, Marlins (Salt River Rafters) -John Eshleman
- Mike Shawaryn, RHP, Red Sox (Mesa Solar Sox) -Adam McInturff
- Luis Robert, OF, White Sox (Glendale Desert Dogs) -John Eshleman
- Ronnie Dawson, OF, Astros (Scottsdale Scorpions) -Adam McInturff
Featured AFL Notes from the Field
- Blake Rogers, RHP, Padres (Peoria Javelinas) -John Eshleman
- Izzy Wilson, OF, Braves (Peoria Javelinas) -Adam McInturff
- David McKay, RHP, Mariners (Peoria Javelinas) -John Eshleman
- Anthony Misiewicz, LHP, Mariners (Peoria Javelinas) -Adam McInturff
Featured AFL Spotlights
Andres Gimenez, SS, Mets (Scottsdale Scorpions)
Ht/Wt: 5’11”/161 lbs. B/T: L/R Age (as of September 1, 2018): 19y, 11m
After working his way all the way to Double-A before his 20th birthday, the Mets shortstop finished his campaign in the AFL playing in limited action, mostly out of position at second base. A quick and athletic player, Gimenez struggled across my four-game view, but his age and tools project for a promising big leaguer.
Gimenez looked less comfortable at second base than the limited innings he got at shortstop, his natural position. At the keystone, he wasn’t as sure-handed, and he lacked the same accuracy on his throws that I’ve seen from short. The actions at both middle-infield positions were plus, with good range into the hole and plus body control on charging plays. His hands were inconsistent, but he projects to plus at short with more reps and seasoning, and his 55-grade arm plays well across the position. Offensively, Gimenez has a compact line-drive stroke, keeping the bat head in the zone and flashing ability for hard contact to all fields. He struggled against older and more advanced pitching in the Fall League, getting exposed by spin, and chasing out of the zone. There isn’t much present strength, and the hope is he adds some mass to better impact the ball. That strength both gets him to a 55 hit tool and yields 45 raw power, and while he can turn on an inside fastball, he projects for 40-grade game power. His plus speed provides value on the bases.
Gimenez’ defensive tools allow for a high floor, and at just 20-years-old, there’s reason to project across the board. I’m bearish on the future power output, but the four other tools could make him an everyday shortstop at minimum–able to exceed that projection if the power takes a jump, or his approach turns a corner in the high minors. -John Eshleman
Pavin Smith, 1B, Diamondbacks (Salt River Rafters)
Ht/Wt: 6’2”/210 lbs. B/T: L/L Age (as of September 1, 2018): 22y, 6m
Coming off his first full season in pro ball, Smith faces questions about his ability to get to prototypical 1B power. Post-draft in 2017, he took his patient approach to short-season and slashed well (.318/.401/.415) but with limited power (.097 ISO). In Advanced A Visalia this year, Smith showed a bit more pop hitting 11 bombs, but the trade off in the hit-tool is enough to draw concerns for a bat-first prospect (.255/.343/.392). I saw Smith for four games in the AFL, a follow-up to a three-game glance in April.
In April, I was encouraged to see Smith’s more aggressive early count approach to seek out power, even though the results were spotty. A polished hitter, the hope was that he would quickly adapt, but in this fall look, Smith’s aggression was even greater, creating more issues with swing/miss than expected for a hitter of his caliber. He’s clearly trying to tap more of his 55-grade raw, but instead of keying on early count FBs he can drive, Smith was trying to hit everything–causing whiffs and weak contact when he tried to pull the ball. He was at his best deep in counts, shortening up with more control of the zone to hit liners to the left half of the field. Smith’s issue is that he doesn’t have great bat speed, making it hard to get around and pull fastballs. He has to commit early to catch up to good velocity, causing him to get out in front of off-speed. There’s hitting instincts and barrel-feel to work with, but his current stroke might not ever be able to produce both average and power.
After just wrapping his first full season of pro ball, Smith still has time to put it all together. Across my looks, his quest for power has hurt the approach and hit tool more than hoped. There’s still time to get to more traditional power, so the best-case ceiling remains an everyday player at 1B. Given the defensive profile, it’s tough to see Smith fitting that role if he can’t develop more offensive impact. -John Eshleman