Hailing from Barquisimeto, Venezuela, shortstop Andrés Giménez signed with the Mets on July 2, 2015, for $1.2 million.
So far, Giménez has shown maturity beyond his years in the pros as he’s moved up within the Mets’ farm system. Even as a shorter player at 5-foot-11, Giménez has showcased the tools needed to become a potential contributor in the big-leagues someday.
He has the ability to be a Gold Glove-caliber shortstop defensively with superb range and quick hands, along with lightning-fast instincts for his position. The 21-year-old has great speed that should allow him to be a potential stolen base threat on the bags.
Offensively, Giménez has a contact-oriented approach at the plate which could allow him to bat in the .280 range seasonally.
Prime Time Sports Talk learned more about Giménez thanks to an interview arranged by Binghamton Rumble Ponies lead broadcaster Jacob Wilkins and translator Ender Chavez.
Note: This interview took place in July, so some information may have changed since the chat was conducted.
Yehuda Schwartz: How have you been feeling at the plate?
Andres Giménez: I feel great. I feel like the hard work that I am doing in the cages with the coaches is showing on the field.
YS: You have been great on defense and on the basepaths. Is your speed more of the footwork element or is that more of the speed element?
Giménez: I think it is more on the bases. It’s about being smarter and helping the team.
YS: Do you have any goals in mind statistically for the season?
Giménez: Just score many runs for the team.
YS: You came from Venezuela. How different is it growing up there versus in the States and how did you originally get into baseball as a kid?
Giménez: I grew up in a baseball family and a baseball ambiance and I was playing baseball since I was a little kid. The only real difference between Venezuela and the states was the language. I am trying to learn English as fast as possible.
YS: Were any of your parents athletes?
Giménez: Yes, my mom was and my coaches were.
YS: Earlier in the season, you were hit on the hand with a 90 MPH fastball. Has that affected you at all and in general, how do players cope with getting drilled so often and then coming back the next day?
Giménez: I feel 100 percent with my wrist right now; it is not a problem. We are playing baseball so getting plunked will happen.
YS: Do you think about the fact that you are getting closer to the big leagues when you play?
Giménez: When I’m playing, in my head I just want to give it 100 percent and help the team win. I don’t think about that during the game.
YS: What does it mean to you to soon be playing behind one of the best and most passionate fanbases in the world in New York?
Giménez: I’m very happy.
YS: You had the honor in the offseason to play in the Arizona Fall League. Can you describe the experience, what you were working on and your favorite parts about it? How awesome was it to play with Alonso, Sanchez, and all the other guys?
Giménez: For me, the fall league was a great experience and was fun with all my teammates. I was mainly working on the second base. The players were great guys, teammates, and great players.
Giménez: They are great pitchers with great stuff, they are on their way to the big leagues, and they are great teammates.
YS: You are on the younger side considering other players in Double-A. How do you play at such a high level considering the age gap?
Giménez: The age isn’t a factor for me because I just focus on playing baseball hard and try to do the best for the team to help and win.
YS: This season, Pete Alonso has been absolutely sensational. What can you tell fans about him that they don’t already know?
Giménez: He’s Big Pete, he has a ton of power and a ton of potential, and he’s a great guy.
Favorite Color: Blue
Favorite Car: Lamborgini
Favorite Food: Venezuelan Food
Favorite Music: All
Favorite Artist: Daddy Yankee
Funniest Clubhouse Guy: Dustin Houle