The 2020 regular season is almost upon us. So it’s time to talk about which Boston Red Sox prospects have big things in store for the upcoming campaign.
At this point there’s a legitimate chance the 2020 minor league season is cancelled. However, it hasn’t happened yet. That means we get to still speculate and talk about which Boston Red Sox prospects are going to hit the jackpot this upcoming season.
Which is perfect, because not many are poised to make the jump to superstardom like Gilberto Jimenez.
Jimenez made his pro debut in 2018. That season saw the outfielder play 67 games in Rookie Ball and slash .319/.384/.420 with 16 steals (although he was caught 14 times). Still, if he could even duplicate that then 2019 would be a success, right?
Jimenez did a lot more than just duplicate those numbers in Short-A. The switch-hitter absolutely raked to the tune of a .359/.393/.470 line. He scored 35 runs and drove in 19 more. Meanwhile, he had three triples to go along with career-highs in doubles (11) and home runs (3).
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And this time around, Jimenez stole 14 bases, only getting caught six times.
Anyone that’s seen him play knows that Jimenez has elite speed. Between him and Jarren Duran, there aren’t many faster duos in a minor league system. So that’s going to factor in heavily.
Why is 2020 the Year of Jimenez though? A few reasons.
First, he’s probably out of Short-A. Especially if the season is shortened, the Red Sox will want to get the most out of Jimenez which means he’s going to start in Full-A. So there’s already a promotion to start the year. And (pending on how many games are in the season) he could see a jump to Advanced-A at some point in 2020 as well.
Then there’s the numbers. Last season, Jimenez proved that while he moves up, sure the talent around him is getting better, but so is he. So expect to see a lot of those stats rise.
Sure, the .359 batting average might dip because that’s an insane number. But the doubles and home runs will continue to rise. And imagine Jimenez getting a full season to try and steal bases. He could top 30 without even trying.
Next there’s the glove. With his speed and athleticism, Jimenez has Gold Glove potential easy. He needs to work on his instincts, but that’s something that comes with more reps. Could this be the year he starts to take that next step?
Finally, there’s that spotlight. Jimenez has it all. At 5’11”, 160 lbs he’s far from an imposing figure. His game does all the talking for him though.
Jimenez has a very flashy style of play. And don’t get it twisted, that’s not a bad thing. Jimenez is stupid fast with a good glove and strong arm. So he’s going to make highlight plays in the field and steal all the bases. Meanwhile, he hits like a machine and could develop a little bit of pop. If that happens, it’s over for the league.
With the jump in levels and his ever-improving game, Jimenez could continue his ridiculous success in Full-A and Advanced-A in 2020. The media will latch on to him with speed that would make even Jimenez blush when that happens.
It doesn’t hurt that he’s on the Boston Red Sox either.
So to answer the question in a simpler way, yes 2020 will be the year of Gilberto Jimenez. In part because of the success on the field that is headed his way. Mainly due to the jump to prospect superstardom that he is set to make though.