Pittsburgh Pirates: Four Potential Minor League Free Agent Targets

DENVER, CO - JULY 15: Reyes Moronta #54 of the San Francisco Giants pitches against the Colorado Rockies during game two of a doubleheader at Coors Field on July 15, 2019 in Denver, Colorado. (Photo by Dustin Bradford/Getty Images)
DENVER, CO - JULY 15: Reyes Moronta #54 of the San Francisco Giants pitches against the Colorado Rockies during game two of a doubleheader at Coors Field on July 15, 2019 in Denver, Colorado. (Photo by Dustin Bradford/Getty Images) /
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oJul 21, 2020; San Francisco, California, USA; San Francisco Giants relief pitcher Dany Jimenez (52) after the top of the third inning against the Oakland Athletics at Oracle Park. Mandatory Credit: Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports
oJul 21, 2020; San Francisco, California, USA; San Francisco Giants relief pitcher Dany Jimenez (52) after the top of the third inning against the Oakland Athletics at Oracle Park. Mandatory Credit: Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports /

Dany Jimenez

Another right-handed reliever that the Pirates should take a look at is 27-year-old Dany Jimenez. Jimenez has bounced around quite a bit over the past few years. He was selected in the Rule 5 draft by the San Francisco Giants, then returned back to the Toronto Blue Jays. Then he was selected off waivers by the Oakland Athletics, just to be returned again to the Jays in March 2021. Even though he’s been passed around like hot potato, Jimenez still ranks as the Jays’ 27th top prospect per FanGraphs.

Jimenez pitched well with the Jays’ Triple-A affiliate. In 44.2 innings, Jimenez had a 2.22 ERA, 3.23 FIP, and 1.209 WHIP. Jimenez also struck out 39% of all the batters he faced and his underlying numbers were also strong. He had a 2.97 xFIP.

Jimenez also has some strong stuff. His four-seam fastball comes in around the mid-90’s with about 2450 RPM. FanGraphs sees it as a 60-grade offering. He also throws a slider that has the same current and future grade as his fastball. Jimenez

However, there are quite a few concerns regarding Jimenez. For one, he walked batters at a 13.4% rate. Now granted, he had a much better and much more usable 9.5% walk rate. Plus between 2018 and 2019, he had a strong 8.3% walk rate. Still, he only projects with 30-grade command. Plus he had poor batted ball results at Triple-A. Jimenez allowed a line drive at a 24.5% rate. His ground ball rate also wasn’t good at just 39.1%.

Still, there’s some potential in Jimenez. While he’ll be a bit older with 2022 being his age-28 season, the upside is still apparent. Two 60-grade pitches are quite good and there’s no risk in taking a minor league flyer on him. The Pittsburgh Pirates could give him a shot in the Major Leagues in 2022 given their lack of bullpen options. Worst case scenario is that he throughout April and is either DFA’d or released.

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