Now that Amed Rosario has graduated to the big leagues, prospect Andres Gimenez has taken over as the New York Mets’ next stud shortstop waiting in the wings.

With farm system promotions come a new wave of talented youngsters. This year’s number one prospect for the New York Mets will undoubtedly be the young Columbian phenom, Andres Gimenez.

Gimenez was signed by the Mets in 2015 as an international free agent and was ranked as the number two international prospect by Baseball America at the time. Ben Badler of Baseball America called him “One of the best pure hitters available.” The Mets only had to pay a price tag of $1.2 million to acquire his services, a bargain at the time.

Gimenez was not highly regarded prior to the 2017 season, as only FanGraphs had him listed on a Top 100 prospects list, where they slotted him in at 82 overall.

However, throughout the last two years, Gimenez has worked his way up through the organizational prospect ranks due to his strong play in the Dominican Summer League. In 2016, he slashed .360/.461/.544 in 31 games.

Last season, his production dropped as he moved to Columbia in the South Atlantic League. Although his slash line dipped to .265/.346/.349 he still managed to drive in 31 runs and use his speed to swipe 14 bags in just 92 games.

His play earned him a mention on Baseball America’s Top 10 Midseason prospect list for the Mets where he ranked fifth.

So what makes this 19-year-old so special? Here’s an excerpt of ESPN’s Keith Law discussing Gimenez as the Mets sleeper prospect during the 2017 preseason.

“Other than shortstop Luis Carpio, my pick for 2016 sleeper who gets a mulligan for a year limited to just 20 games by surgery on a torn labrum is Gimenez, a true shortstop who looks like he’ll hit. Signed for $1.2 million in 2015, Gimenez is a plus defender at short now with a chance to develop into a 70 glove. He also is an above-average runner who projects to have average power.”

That endorsement by Law is not exactly the “MVP potential” line he used to describe Amed Rosario as a prospect, but no one is saying Gimenez is Rosario anyway.

He’s his own player. He’s smaller and does not have the pure athleticism of Rosario, but he has all the attributes of a legitimate MLB player. Check out this video of Gimenez sparking a sixth-inning run.

A player with the ability to get on, get over, and then get driven in is something the Mets organization has sorely lacked for years. Add in his plus defense, and he has the look of a  future regular at the top of the order.

His future is bright and to think about him and Rosario being the Mets double play combination of the future is tantalizing.

But, first Gimenez will have to work his way up through the minors to join his fellow shortstop in Queens. That road likely will start in Brooklyn for the start of 2018, as Gimenez has nothing left to prove at the lower levels of Single-A.

With a strong start to the season, Gimenez could move swiftly through the minor leagues. Don’t be surprised if he makes an appearance at Double-A or even Triple-A before the conclusion of 2018.

I am a Senior currently attending the Rutgers Business School in New Brunswick. I am a lifelong New York Mets fan, and writing about the team is my passion.