As the 2019 Boston Red Sox make a final push for a playoff spot, the inconsistent play of the defending World Series champions has left fans keeping an eye on the 2020 season.
With an eye toward the future, the Boston farm system has been a hot topic inside Red Sox Nation. Corner infielder, Bobby Dalbec, has created the most buzz, as he’s punished Triple A pitching since being promoted to Pawtucket nearly two weeks ago. Dalbec headlines a fresh new wave of Sox prospects, who, along with Triston Casas, Jarren Duran and Bryan Mata, have blossomed into Top 100 overall prospects. An emergence of top prospects has changed the outlook of an organization that came into 2019 with a bottom ranked farm system.
Beyond the Top 100 prospects that headline the improved Red Sox system, there is some depth in the organization’s lower levels. Perhaps the prospect with the biggest upside resides in short-season, Lowell, in the New York Penn League. Outfielder, Gilberto Jimenez, has burst onto the prospect radar with an impressive .364 batting average and an .874 OPS through his first 50 games this season. The organization was hopeful that Jimenez would continue to show improvement on his 2018 season, where he hit .319 with an .804 OPS, as a seventeen year old in the Dominican Summer League. He’s done just that. Jimenez was ranked as the Sox #20 prospect coming into 2019, and his performance this season has vaulted him to #9 in the system’s rankings in the Baseball America mid-season update.
The Red Sox signed Jimenez as an international free agent out of the Dominican Republic during the 2017 international signing period. An unheralded prospect at the time of his signing, the Red Sox were able to land Jimenez with a signing bonus of just $10,000. Now, just 18 years old, Jimenez already has plus, 70- grade, speed, and an outfield arm that also grades out above average. Listed at 5’11” and 160 lbs, the switch-hitter has a projectable frame, and should grow into 15-20 home run power.
While Jimenez has been a nice surprise, his arrival to the major leagues is still unlikely to come prior to the 2023 season. With several holes to fill on the pitching staff, as well as the outlook of the roster after the free agency period, a rising prospect like Jimenez could help the team in the near future in the form of a valuable trade asset. Whether inside the Red Sox organization, or with another team, it’s becoming quite clear that Gilberto Jimenez is a name that Red Sox fans are about to become familiar with.