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Red Sox Top Prospect Voting: Gilberto Jimenez rounds out our list

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The voting is over.

MLB: Spring Training-Boston Red Sox at New York Yankees
We do not have a picture of Gilberto Jimenez
Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

We have finished our voting on the top twenty prospects in the Red Sox system for 2019, and it ended with an interesting votes. There were a few players who were battling for position in the last few rounds of voting, but only one would be able to win the twentieth and final spot. In the end, it went to a very young outfielder over some more established prospects, with Gilberto Jimenez grabbing 11 of 30 (37 percent) votes to round out our list.

There wasn’t exactly a lot of fanfare around the signing of Jimenez when the young outfielder out of the Dominican Republic joined the organization. He wasn’t even a July 2 signing, which is of course the date most of the top Latin American players are signed. Instead, Jimenez was signed at the start of August in 2017 for only $10,000, a pittance compared to what the top players in international signing classes receive. The Red Sox clearly had their eyes on at least some of the signee’s tools, but he wasn’t exactly in the consciousness of the fanbase heading into the summer of 2018.

Whether or not people were aware of Jimenez isn’t really important, though, because he would make an impression down in the Dominican Summer League. That is where he’d make his professional debut last year, and even there his numbers were good even if they didn’t stand out all that much. He did finish the year hitting .319/.384/.420, showing good on-base skills but not a whole lot of power. Indeed, he didn’t hit a single home run though he did contribute ten doubles and nine triples. He also stole 16 bases in 67 games, though he was also caught 14 times. In all, it was a strong showing and he was named the organization’s Latin American program Player of the Year.

In terms of the scouting, the pros and cons for Jimenez are abundantly clear. On the bad side, there isn’t a whole lot of power in his profile, which shouldn’t be a surprise given the zero next to home runs in his 2018 stat line. He also has to make some improvements in terms of pitch recognition and plate discipline. Again, this is not a huge surprise since he just turned 18 last July. On the other hand, he is a plus-plus athlete and one of the fastest prospects the Red Sox have had in some time. He uses his legs on the bases, and while he could use some work in terms of instincts that will come with experience. He also uses them in the field where he covers a ton of ground in the outfield. Additionally, he has a strong arm and quick hands at the plate to give him strong bat-to-ball skills. On top of all that, scouts have raved about his make up and work ethic, which should carry him far in this organization.

We’ll see Jimenez make his stateside debut in 2019, though don’t expect it to be in a full-season league. There’s plenty to be excited about here, but the Red Sox aren’t going to push him that far. Instead, he’s likely to make his debut in Lowell. All of that said, given the high marks his make up gets, it wouldn’t be the most surprising thing in the world to see him pushed a little harder as his career goes on if he proves successful at any given level.

Here is the final top twenty for the year:

  1. Michael Chavis
  2. Darwinzon Hernandez
  3. Triston Casas
  4. Bobby Dalbec
  5. Jay Groome
  6. Tanner Houck
  7. Durbin Feltman
  8. Bryan Mata
  9. Antoni Flores
  10. Mike Shawaryn
  11. C.J. Chatham
  12. Nick Decker
  13. Brandon Howlett
  14. Jarren Duran
  15. Travis Lakins
  16. Danny Diaz
  17. Denyi Reyes
  18. Nicholas Northcut
  19. Alex Scherff
  20. Gilberto Jimenez

See you next year!