RIGHT HANDED PITCHER
|Born: February 1, 1990
Signed: Int’l Free Agent, 2006 (Red Sox)
How Acquired: Trade from Red Sox
Country: Dominican Republic
WTM’S PIRATE PLAYER PROFILES
|Pimentel established himself as a prospect in the Red Sox’ system while he was still a teenager. In fact, the Pirates reportedly were interested in him as part of the package when they traded Jason Bay to Boston in 2008. He originally threw in the upper 80s to lower 90s, with a strong change and a curve. His velocity has increased, but at the cost of some command. He’s ditched the curve for a slider, but it hasn’t been a good pitch so far. The Pirates acquired Pimentel, along with Jerry Sands, Mark Melancon and Ivan De Jesus, for Joel Hanrahan and Brock Holt.
Pimentel got off to a strong pro start in the DSL.
The Red Sox skipped Pimentel over rookie ball and he pitched about the same in the New York-Penn League at age 18 as he had the previous year. Baseball America rated him the Sox’ 11th best prospect after the season. At that point he was throwing 88-92 with an excellent change.
Pimentel spent the year in the rotation in low A and got hit much harder than at lower levels, with opponents batting .290 against him.
Pimentel pitched a little better in high A, although his ERA didn’t reflect it. His fastball improved to the 90-95 range and BA ranked him the Sox’ 6th best prospect.
The Sox moved Pimentel up to AA and he came unglued. His fastball edged into the upper 90s, but it lost movement and his command fell apart. His change also deteriorated. Opponents hammered him for a .352 average in 15 starts before the Sox moved him down to high A, where he pitched much better, although he still didn’t dominate.
Pimentel returned to AA and pitched much better than in his previous visit, but he still was far from dominating. Among other things, his K rate was below average.
Pimentel’s value is debatable, as he has yet to pitch well at the AA level and had only one option remaining at the time of the trade. He didn’t exactly dominate in class A, for that matter, and hasn’t had high K rates. It’s hard to see a path to the majors unless he eventually qualifies for a fourth option, which appears unlikely. Moving him to the bullpen might help, but the Pirates intended to keep him as a starter. They were probably encouraged by the fact that he pitched well in training camp. He’ll open 2013 in the Altoona rotation, but needs to move up to AAA before long.
|2013: Minor league contract|
|Signing Bonus: $25,000
MiLB Debut: 2007
MLB Debut: N/A
MiLB FA Eligible: N/A
MLB FA Eligible: N/A
Rule 5 Eligible: N/A
Added to 40-Man: 11/19/2010
Options Remaining: 0 (USED: 2011, 2012, 2013)
MLB Service Time: 0.000
|July 2, 2006: Signed as an international free agent by the Boston Red Sox.
November 19, 2010: Contract purchased by the Boston Red Sox.
December 26, 2012: Traded by the Boston Red Sox with Mark Melancon, Jerry Sands and Ivan De Jesus to the Pittsburgh Pirates for Joel Hanrahan and Brock Holt.