The Guardians might just have a surprising All-Star on the roster.
No, not José Ramirez–he’s not surprising, and somehow “All-Star” short changes his MVP candidate-having season.
And no, it’s not Steven Kwan, the rookie sensation who took the league by storm a few months back.
No, the Guardians might have just found a future star in infielder Andrés Giménez.
While guys like Ramirez and Kwan have soaked up the spotlight, Giménez is quietly putting together an excellent campaign.
A Spoonful of Sugar
Giménez didn’t start in the Guardians’ system.
He came over in the Francisco Lindor–Carlos Carrasco trade to the New York Mets that left Cleveland fans reeling over the loss of two stars.
Both Lindor and Carrasco have been instrumental to the Mets’ strong start to the season.
And while it’s painful for Guardians fans to imagine how good the club would be if Lindor and Carrasco still donned the Red and Navy, Giménez’s numbers are surely helping.
In case anyone was wondering which American League second baseman was leading their respective position in WAR.
It’s Andrés Giménez.#ForTheLand #VoteGuards @CleGuardians @andresgimenez pic.twitter.com/lM5cp8W2Rk
— La Mole (@FranmilsEyebrow) June 9, 2022
That’s doubly true given Giménez’s rough start last season.
Though he was Cleveland’s opening day starting shortstop in 2021, he was quickly demoted before the end of May.
Giménez has put those concerns squarely in the rearview.
So far, Giménez is slashing .310/.545/.885.
He’s not a power hitter, but he’s certainly someone who can snag a hit when the team needs it.
And Giménez has been incredibly consistent as well this season.
Fortunately, he’s avoided the rollercoaster-type play that’s haunted guys like Steven Kwan, Franmil Reyes, and even Ramirez, who can go quiet from time to time.
Giménez carried an eight-game hit streak into Cleveland’s most recent doubleheader against the Rangers, recording a single in the first game before getting blanked in the late game.
Giménez will have to compete with the top shortstops and second basemen in the game to make future All-Star teams.
Giménez has slotted into both positions throughout this season.
That means keeping pace with guys like Tim Anderson, J.P. Crawford, and Xander Bogaerts, who are each having great starts to the 2022 season.
Further down, guys like Lindor, Corey Seager, and Bo Bichette figure to be strong staples at the position.
But so far, Giménez has hung with the best of them.
According to ESPN, his .310 average would be third among shortstops, and his 43 hits are top-15.
The same is true among second basemen–Giménez is second in average and top-10 in hits.
So Giménez can compete offensively at either position and defensively he’s been error-free.
The key to Giménez truly developing into an All-Star will be nailing down one of those positions on his own.
Andres Gimenez just keeps ripping the ball .. guy is sending out scorchers to the outfield wall for weeks.
— Al Pawlowski (@AlPawlowski) June 9, 2022
It’s simply too hard to make an All-Star team without playing a single position day in and day out.
Perhaps Giménez could afford the one-off game at shortstop or second, but he needs consistency in positioning more than anything else.
It’s a strange ask; typically a player struggles with consistency behind the plate, not in finding a place to play on the field.
If he does that and continues to bat as well as he has, Giménez has a strong shot at future All Star nods.
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