Pimentel Aims For Return To Fenway

Righthander is driven to succeed




BOSTONThe stage almost consumed Stolmy Pimentel. Asked to start for short-season Lowell in the Futures at Fenway doubleheader featuring Red Sox minor league teams, the 18-year-old struggled to control his excitement.

The righthander missed badly on each of his first three pitches, and required a visit to the mound from catcher Tim Federowicz. But after walking the first batter of the game, Pimentel settled down and limited Hudson Valley to two runs in five innings. 

Pimentel gave a glimpse of the presence and arsenal that he hopes will take him back to Fenway Park in the coming years. In some ways, his achievements already exceed expectations that accompanied his entry into the Red Sox organization. The team worked Pimentel out at their Dominican academy and signed him for $25,000 in 2006.

"He fits the profile of what we look for," Red Sox international scouting director Craig Shipley said. "He's a 6-foot-3, projectable righthanded pitcher. He's athletic. He's intelligent. He's got a great frame to fill out."

Pimentel is also driven. He professes a goal of reaching the majors within three years, and he arrived at his first full season in the U.S. intent on skipping the Rookie-level Gulf Coast League.

"I didn't want to play in Rookie Ball," Pimentel said through a translator. "I wanted to skip that level. I made sure to work very hard during spring training, during extended (spring training), in order to do that."

Having fulfilled that ambition, Pimentel impressed through the early paces of the New York-Penn League. Through his first 10 games, he went 3-2, 3.06 with 47 strikeouts and 12 walks in 47 innings.

Pimentel features three solid pitches in a 90-91 mph fastball, average curve and a changeup that serves as an out pitch. Yet the Sox maintain that there is more potential, particularly as the lanky righthander fills out.

"It's going to be an interesting mix (of pitches)," farm director Mike Hazen said. "How hard he throws, based on how much he grows, that's an X-factor."

Sox Yarns

• First baseman Lars Anderson enjoyed an impressive start to his Double-A career. After hitting .317/.408/.513 in high Class A Lancaster, the 20-year-old got off to a .333/.427/.617 start in 81 at-bats with Portland.

• Shortstop Yamaico Navarro had an 18-game hitting streak—the longest of the year for Lancaster—snapped on Aug. 10. Navarro hit .395 during the streak, which started a few games after his promotion from low Class A Greenville.