The Pittsburgh Pirates trade of Joel Hanrahan to the Boston Red Sox is said to include right handed minor league pitcher Stolmy Pimentel. So who is he you ask? We will give you a glimpse of what we could find below.
The 6’3″ slender righty was signed as an international free agent in 2006. Hence, he doesn’t have much time to prove he can pitch in the big leagues, it can be assumed the Sox felt that he wasn’t going to be able to do that and tossed him into the Hanrahan deal as a throw in because of that important fact.
There is no doubt he has the talent, the Pirates are presumably counting on a change of scenery helping him reach his potential.
It’s been stated that the Bucs were interested in Pimentel way back when Jason Bay was traded, but the Red Sox weren’t interested in including him in the deal. At the time, the Dominican Republic native was one of the top ten Red Sox prospects. Now he is 22 years old and hasn’t pitched like a top ten prospect for the past few years.
2010: Pimentel had his innings limited by the Red Sox, but twice left the game with no-hitters on the line.
He represented the Red Sox in the Futures Game and pitched out of the bullpen. The right hander’s fast ball is talked about not reaching its’ potential by the announcers in the video below right around the time he gets crushed to the fence in left center field.
Guess who saves the day with a highlight reel catch?
2011: So much more was expected from the 2011 season. Look what FanGraphs had to say about their number five pick (Felix Doubront was number six) in the Sox system headed into the season:
Notes: Just 20, Pimentel posted a 3.82 FIP in 128.2 high-A innings in 2010. He showed solid control with a walk rate of just 2.94 K/9 and missed a respectable number of bats (7.13 K/9). Pimentel’s repertoire includes a low-to-mid 90s fastball, excellent changeup and improving breaking ball. Since signing, he’s added about 50 pounds and projects as a durable, innings-eater with the ceiling of a No. 3 starter. I am a little concerned about his conditioning and he’s going to have to watch his weight – he’s getting thick around the middle. Pimentel’s arm slot does vary and more advanced hitters are going to pick up on that. He should open 2011 in double-A.
Pimentel was demoted from Double-A back to the Carolina Leagues despite continuing to display an excellent fastball and good change, but his average curveball seemed to get him in trouble. The curveball that got him in trouble was reportedly given up on in the middle of the 2011 season and he started working on a slider.
A video of Stolmy is below, he gets ahead of the first hitter with plenty of off-speed and breaking pitches before retiring him on a flyout. The second hitter is retired on a groundout and Pimentel strikes out the final batter for a 1-2-3 first inning.
Apparently, the second inning was ugly. You can see in the video he isn’t afraid to come inside, or perhaps he doesn’t know where it’s going sometimes.
2012: He made 22 starts and failed to impress. The season numbers were 115.2 innings pitched and 115 hits allowed–actually a bit of an improvement, he struckout just 86 batters and reduced his homeruns allowed to nine from 16 in his challenging 2011 season.
Here is a video from June, Pimentel gets Yankees minor-leaguer Zoilo Almonte to flyout.
From reading the scouting reports, the four-seam fastball stands out when thrown down in the zone. The struggles come from repeating his arm slot. The changeup is universally loved and called a plus pitch by scouts when thrown in the 78-82 mph range.
The one report that stood out to us was this one:
94mph fastball has good late life, and he uses it well, balanced against a curve, change and developing sinker that could all be serious pitches in another couple of years, but the phenom’s performance in 2011 was phenomenally bad, ‘highlighted’ by a perfect 0-9, 9.12, 1.95 turn in fifteen AA starts. He may need to be broken down and built up again from scratch to be a factor in MLB, which means you can probably forget about 2012 and even 2013 for the young Dominican.
The only real positive part of that report that caught my eye was, of course, ‘the developing sinker’ line. The Pirates seem to have a thing for grabbing a pitcher and teaching them the ins and outs of the sinker. It’s almost a given in some of their recent lower level acquistions.
If it’s true that the fastball and change can be two plus pitches for the right hander, we think the Bucs must be interested in furthering the development of his sinker. If that’s the case, perhaps the Bucs can pull out a sleeper in Pimentel?