He’s a long way from the majors, but 18-year old Gilberto Jimenez might be the most interesting outfield prospect in the system. Jimenez spent just one year in the system but already earned the organization’s 2018 Latin Program Player of the Year. He’s still a raw prospect, but he has the raw skills to be a major league mainstay.
Red Sox Prospects: Gilberto Jimenez
Initially signed as an international free agent in August of 2017, Jimenez made his professional debut in the Dominican Summer League. Playing in 67 games, Jimenez recorded a .319/.384/.420 slash line with an accompanying 133 wRC+.
Interestingly, the 18-year old prospect recently starting switch-hitting. While minor league baseball doesn’t track switch-hitting splits, all reports say that Jimenez is effective from both sides of the plate. That said, his lefty swing is still a work in progress and he’s clearly more comfortable from the right side of the plate. This is natural, and Jimenez’ left-handed swing should improve over time.
Jimenez doesn’t have much of a power profile, but he makes consistent contact. Striking out just 14.1% of the time, the young outfielder is capable of making good contact and driving line drives in the outfield gaps.
As an outfielder, Jimenez is still a work in progress. He has unmatched speed, which allows him to catch basically anything put in the air. He has an above-average arm and should be able to play in any outfield position.
What To Work On
Just like basically any 18-year old prospect, Gilberto Jimenez is still an unfinished product at the plate and in the field. As a hitter, Jimenez needs to work on his lefty swing. His swing from the right is ready for the next level, but his left swing could be exploited at the higher levels. This isn’t unexpected, as Jimenez only recently started switch-hitting.
Additionally, Jimenez needs to work on his reflexes and instincts in the outfield. His elite speed covers up a lot of his flaws, but Jimenez doesn’t get a good read of the ball off the bat. Right now, he’s an average defender. However, if he can improve his reflexes, he’s a borderline Gold Glover.
At 18 years old, there’s still a long way for Jimenez to go before he’s ready for major league action. He still has significant holes in his swing and his defense could be a lot better.
That said, he still shows a great hit tool, even if he lacks power projection. He can hit to all parts of the field, and his elite speed makes him a nightmare once he gets on the bases.
Jimenez is one of the hardest prospects to project, simply