Pimentel Gets A Glimpse Of The Future

BOSTON—Righthander Stolmy Pimentel spent little time in the Futures Game. He entered the contest for the World team in the bottom of the fifth inning and showed his three-pitch mix—a 92-93 mph fastball, a changeup that elicited a swing and a miss, a work-in-progress curve—while retiring both of the batters he faced.
Though the experience was brief, its significance was not lost on Pimentel. 

"I was excited to be here," Pimentel said. "I hope to be here again." 

The Sox are confident that Pimentel, who signed out of the Dominican in 2006 as a rail-thin 16-year-old, will have the opportunity to return to the big league setting in the coming years. Thanks to physical maturation, he stands 6-foot-3 and weighs 220 pounds, and his fastball has jumped from 84-86 mph at the time of his signing to the point where he pitches comfortably in the low 90s. 

"I think he projects to throw harder—he's only 20 years old—as he continues to grow into his frame, define his physique," general manager Theo Epstein said. "But with a swing-and-miss changeup and the ability to command the ball to both sides, it's not like he needs double-plus velocity in order to be successful. He's got three pitches."

Statistically, this has been Pimentel's most challenging season. Despite starts where he turned in six perfect innings and six no-hit innings, he went 5-7, 4.61 for high Class A Salem in the first half. But the Red Sox believe those numbers offer an incomplete picture.

"He has all the ingredients to be a major league starting pitcher if his development continues at the rate it's been going the last four years," Epstein said. "His progress in the system has been steady and methodical."

Pimentel suggests that his goals for the second half are to stay healthy and to reach Double-A, though he recognizes that the decision about a promotion is out of his control. All the same, he hopes to reach the big leagues as soon as 2011, a goal that he has held since he first turned pro.

"I've got one more year left. I think I can make it," said Pimentel. "I feel ready. I'm going to be positive and aggressive no matter what. I know if I pitch like I can, I can make it to the big leagues pretty soon."

Sox Yarns

• Outfielder Ryan Kalish hit .337/.406/.477 in his first 86 at-bats following a promotion to Triple-A Pawtucket. 

• Catcher Ryan Lavarnway was promoted to Double-A Portland after hitting .289/.392/.487 with 14 home runs in 304 at-bats with Salem.