clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Colorado Rockies minor league scouting video: Middle infielder Emerson Jimenez

Watch the Colorado Rockies' minor league shortstop take batting practice and swing the bat in an intrasquad game during spring training.

Scottsdale, Ariz. -- Now entering his fifth year of professional baseball, Emerson Jimenez ought to be more or less a known entity in the minds of the Colorado Rockies. Never will he hit for power, or average; any and all utility the organization can find in him centers on his defensive production and positional flexibility across the infield.

That is, of course, best exemplified by Jimenez's .245/.269/.320 slash line. Middle infielders need not be sluggers, and any power at those positions in many cases is a bonus, but impact players at higher levels of the minors and then the big leagues need to have a stronger career OPS than .589.

Nevertheless, I find it hard to discount Jimenez completely. He'll never be the Rockies' starting shortstop, but he does have time to grow into quality organizational depth. He only just turned 21 years old, spending his age-20 season last summer split between Low-A Asheville and High-A Modesto; in the California League, Jimenez slashed just .216/.241/.307, but he was nearly three years younger than his average opponent. That age—and Jimenez's timetable through the minors—gives me hope that he's someone who can develop his game just enough in the next several years to eventually find himself on the margins of the conversation in 2018, or something, when he's still young.

Sure, maybe that's damning him with faint praise, but there are big league jobs to be had on those margins; Jonathan Herrera has made a career of it (granted, he was a better hitter than Jimenez to the same point in his own minor league journey). Tony Wolters, Rafael Ynoa, and others are trying to make a career of it now. That role is valuable.

Jimenez has some things working in his favor here; he switch hits, which is always a nice asset to dream on for any National League roster regarding bench flexibility. He's also smooth in the field. I haven't taken any infield video of drills or defensive work this spring, but it's been interesting to watch Jimenez's position group work on defending shifts; he's certainly talented with soft hands. Hell, MLB.com called him the best pure shortstop in the Rockies' organization as recently as last year. How well he does with that will go a long way in determining how far he can go in professional baseball.

At the plate, then, he needs to learn to do just enough as he develops. No, a .197/.219/.275 slash line—Jimenez's combined 2015 totals between Asheville and Modesto—is not enough. But the year before, as a 19-year-old in Asheville, Jimenez slashed .259/.276/.342. Nothing to write home about, but certainly combined with above-average defense it might be enough to keep him in the conversation moving forward.

The point is, I'm loath to write off a kid entering his age-21 season at what will likely be High-A Modesto when he's such a well-regarded defensive whiz. Emerson Jimenez needs to do more at the plate than be the automatic out he was in 2015, but assuming he's developed as he should have over the last year, perhaps his second crack at the California League will lead better results and a relatively brighter outlook by the end of this summer.

Check out his batting practice video, above, along side a pair of at-bats the 21-year-old received in a recent intrasquad scrimmage at Rockies' spring training.

For more prospect videos, subscribe to the Purple Row YouTube channel.