Andrés Giménez has had a disappointing 2023 season, but hey, there aren't many Cleveland Guardians who didn't disappoint on the offensive side of things this year.
However, the 25-year-old second baseman, who signed a seven-year, $106.5 million contract extension before the season started, is enjoying a strong finish to the campaign. In 16 September games, Giménez is now slashing .350/.409/.450 with a home run, three doubles, and eight RBI in 66 plate appearances.
A run like that will remind you just why the Guardians signed him to that extension in the first place. And while Giménez's season overall at the plate remains a disappointment - Cleveland sure could have used this production at any other point - having at least some optimism heading into 2024 isn't the worst thing.
There's also something to be said about knowing with full certainty that second base is locked up for years to come. And if the Guardians can feel good about that offensively as well, that's just icing on the cake. On the season, Giménez is now hitting .248/.315/.388 with 13 home runs, 26 doubles, 29 stolen bases, 57 RBI, and a 96 OPS+. And while his Statcast profile isn't going to impress you much, a .287 season BABIP suggests maybe there's a little wiggle room for a few extra hits here and there next season - at least enough to hit that 100 mark on his OPS+ and wRC+.
The fact is, Giménez may have had an outlier season in 2022, hitting .297/.371/.466 with 17 home runs and a 142 wRC+, buoyed by an unsustainable .353 BABIP. His 2022 xBA of .257 suggests plenty of luck, but a normal season to expect from him is probably somewhere in the middle of 2022 and 2023's numbers. Still, that's not too shabby at all.
It hasn't been all bad for Giménez this year, either. As usual, he's been a dynamo defensively, and currently owns the second-highest Outs Above Average (OAA) among second basemen with a score of 16, second only to San Francisco's Thairo Estrada, who has a 19.
The encouraging thing here is that Giménez is among a number of Guardians players enjoying a strong finish at the plate. It's far too little far too late - and maybe it's partly due to the pressure being off - but things aren't as dire for this team as some would like you to believe. It's not much of a consolation prize for a lost season, but it'll have to do.