Throughout his minor league career, Andrés Giménez showed that he could hit for a decent average, run into a ball every now and again, and be above average on the base paths. The makings for a solid fantasy baseball player were there, and he gave us a snippet of that in 2020 with the Mets, hitting three home runs with eight stolen bases and a .263 batting average across 49 games at just 21 years old. Andrés Giménez was a key piece of Cleveland’s return for Francisco Lindor and Carlos Carrasco, but he did not live up to his potential in 2021. Fast forward to 2022, and Gimenez has been one of the best fantasy baseball players at second base this year, and in terms of where he was being drafted, he might be one of the best fantasy baseball players this season. What led to his breakout this year that catapulted him up fantasy baseball player rankings? Let’s take a deep dive behind the curtain to see what pushed Gimenez to not only be an All-Star in reality in 2022, but also a fantasy baseball All-Star.


Even when he put up solid numbers in 2020, there were some concerns about whether or not it was fool’s gold. He was never a guy to light up the Statcast board, but an 11th percentile barrel rate, and fifth percentile hard hit rate? Come on now! His numbers remained relatively consistent in 2021 compared to 2020, but there was a noticeable difference. His xBA plummeted over 35 points from the year before, and his strikeout rate jumped from 20.6 percent all the way up to 25.7 percent. He had an incredibly rough start to the year, hitting just .179 with a 29.4 percent strikeout and 18.8 percent swinging strike rate, leading to a demotion to Triple-A.

It seemed like he was able to regain some confidence, and hit 10 home runs with eight stolen bases and a .287 batting average across 52 games at Triple-A. Upon his return, while the numbers weren’t world-beating, it set the stage for a 2022 breakout.

 AVGwOBAwRC+Barrel%Hard Hit%BB%K%SwStr%
Pre-Demotion (4/1-5/16).179.233435.5%32.7%3.5%29.4%18.8%
Post Call-Up (8/8-10/3).245.307942.4%28.9%6.4%23.2%14.5%

Courtesy of FanGraphs

Yes, some of his batted ball metrics were down, but Gimenez’s discipline in the batter’s box was returning. He was making more contact, seeing more fourth balls, and less third strikes. Fantasy baseball managers who invested heavily into Gimenez may have been upset about the demotion to the minors, but it was needed, and the rewards have been worth it. I truly believe that time in the minors was the best thing for Gimenez, who was only 22 years old at the time.

In 2022, he started out hot, hitting .340 through the first 17 games of the year, and by the end of May, he had a .296/.321/.496 slash line with five home runs and four stolen bases. His barrel rate was at 6.3 percent, and his hard hit rate was approaching 40 percent! Now in August, he’s hitting .304 on the year with 12 home runs and 11 stolen bases. His 162 game pace puts him at 21 home runs and 19 stolen bases by the end of the year, which is impressive for a guy who likely hits no worse than .285 this season.

There are understandable reasons for being concerned about the projectability of his future power production, and if this is the guy he will be moving forward. His launch angle hasn’t changed much, and while he’s made more hard contact, he’s hit fewer fly balls this year, but has enjoyed a massive jump in his HR/FB rate (16.7%). However, when you do make more frequent hard contact, when you do get a ball in the air, you have an increased likelihood for home runs. It goes both ways. I don’t really think that Gimenez is far beyond a 20 home run guy, because prior to this year, the power production never indicated that, and as a prospect his game power and raw power were both graded below average. Take a look at his AB/HR metrics throughout his career, and then using a little number crunching, the final column will indicate what that AB/HR metric would equate to over 550 at-bats.



HR per 550 ABs

Rookie Ball















MLB (2020)



MLB (2021)



MLB (2022)



Courtesy of FanGraphs

Could he get better in the power department? Sure, he’s only 23 years old and he’s earned a long leash in Cleveland. However, banking on him to hit anywhere above 20 home runs might be a bit rash based solely off this year. It’s a great launching point, but his overall hit tool is better than his power tool, and that has shown in the minors.

Gone are the days of getting Gimenez outside of the top 200. Looking back at NFBC ADP from 10/1/2021-4/1/2022, Gimenez’s ADP was 274.70. Of qualified hitters in the MLB, Gimenez is one of just five players with a .300+ batting average and double-digit home runs and stolen bases. The others are Trea Turner, Luis Robert, Starling Marte, and Dansby Swanson. While questions about power production are deserved, he’s going to hit for a good average and provide solid stolen base numbers. It would be great if Cleveland could beef up that lineup a bit more, but there’s some intriguing young talent, along with Gimenez, that could help his counting stats. He’s enjoying a career year to date, and if he can maintain, or maybe even improve on some of his batted ball metrics, watch out. If he ends the year with a stat line of at least a .290 batting average with 15+ home runs and 15+ stolen bases, I wouldn’t be surprised to see him drafted within the top 12 at his position, just one year after going outside the top 30.


Statistical Credits:


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