- Full name Stolmy Ramon Pimentel
- Born 02/01/1990 in San Cristobal, Dominican Republic
- Profile Ht.: 6'3" / Wt.: 230 / Bats: R / Throws: R
- Debut 09/04/2013
Organization Prospect Rankings
Once a prospect of note for the Red Sox before struggling at the Double-A level in 2012, Pimentel joined the Pirates as part of the six-player trade following the 2012 season that sent closer Joel Hanrahan to Boston. Pimentel did well in his first season with the Pirates while splitting the season as a starter between Double-A Altoona and Triple-A Indianapolis. Ideally he would have reported back to Indianapolis in 2014, but he was out of minor league options and the Pirates kept him on the major league roster most of the season, using him in low-leverage relief situations. Pimentel has enough pitches to start with a plus, mid-90s fastball, an average split-changeup and an average curveball. He has struggled because his control is fringy. After pitching just 43 innings in 2014, Pimentel appears destined to remain in the bullpen in 2015.
Pimentel's prospect status had dimmed in the Red Sox organization when he stalled at the Double-A level. He got a fresh start in 2013 after an offseason trade to the Pirates that shipped closer Joel Hanrahan to Boston. Pimentel began 2013 at Double-A Altoona but finished the season with the big league club. His fastball sits at 92-94 mph and has added velocity as he has gotten older and stronger, topping out near 95. He offsets his fastball with an excellent, mid-80s split-changeup that nets him a fair share of strikeouts. His slider and curveball flash plus at times but are inconsistent. The Pirates would prefer Pimentel remain in the rotation, but they may be forced to move him to the bullpen in 2014. He will stick with Pittsburgh, regardless, because he's out of minor league options, and the club won't risk losing him on waivers. Because he's probably not quite ready for prime time, Pimentel may have to earn his stripes in low-leverage work. With a good showing, he could earn a look in the rotation.
The Red Sox read a lot of positives into Pimentel's 6-7, 4.59 performance in Double-A last year. Though his results were mediocre, they represented a marked improvement from his previous stint at Portland (0-9, 9.12), and he made strides with his stuff and command. A growth spurt resulted in extra fastball velocity in 2011 but threw his mechanics and the rest of his game out of sync. Pimentel worked to tighten his delivery and throw in a more direct line to the plate last season, which helped add life and deception to his pitches. While he's capable of reaching 98 mph with his four-seam fastball, he's learning that he's more effective when he works with 91-94 mph two-seamers. He generates weak contact with a cutter/slider hybrid, and he has regained the feel for a quality changeup that he lost in 2011. The next step is for Pimentel to miss more bats and achieve more consistent success. If he can't, he'll make the transition from possible No. 3 starter to potential set-up man. He should make his Triple-A debut at some point in 2013.
Signed for $25,000 out of the Dominican Republic in 2006, Pimentel made steady progress in four pro seasons until he reached Double-A in 2011. He threw harder than ever, but every aspect of his game besides velocity regressed terribly. He went 0-9, 9.12 as opponents batted .352 against him in 15 Portland starts, including four outings in which he allowed more runs than he recorded outs. He improved following a July demotion to high Class A, but that couldn't take much of the tarnish off a disappointing year. In his quest to throw harder--and his fastball did reach 97 mph--Pimentel lost his mechanics, command and ultimately his confidence. Increased velocity meant less plane, angle and movement on his fastball, which is more effective and has more riding life when he throws in the low 90s. His changeup was a swing-and-miss pitch in the past, but merely average at best in 2011. The lone positive in Pimentel's development last year was that he may have found a breaking ball. After struggling to spin a curveball for years, he scrapped it in favor of a low-80s slider/cutter. The Red Sox hope he has gotten back on track to becoming a No. 3 starter, but won't know for sure until they see how he fares when he returns to Double-A.
Since signing for $25,000 out of the Dominican Republic in 2006, Pimentel has made steady progress in four years of pro ball. He represented the Red Sox at the 2010 Futures Game, where he retired the two batters he faced--the Marlins' Logan Morrison and the Nationals' Danny Espinosa, both of whom finished the year in the majors. Pimentel does an excellent job of commanding and pitching off his fastball for a youngster. As he has matured physically, his four-seamer has risen from 84-86 mph when he signed to 90-95. His fastball has good riding life and sets up his swing-and-miss changeup, a legitimate plus pitch. Pimentel's curveball can become a solid third offering. He still needs to stay on top of the pitch more consistently, but he has improved its break and velocity over the last two seasons. Pimentel has also done a better job of staying in good condition, which helps him maintain his fastball deeper into starts. He throws strikes, though his arm action is long and gives hitters a good look at his pitches. Pimentel has proven that he's ready for Double-A at age 21 and could get his first shot at the big leagues by the end of 2012. He has the stuff and feel to become a No. 3 starter.
In contrast to the first 10 players on this list, who averaged $1.67 million in signing bonuses, Pimentel turned pro for just $25,000 as a 16-year-old. He has breezed through the lower levels of the minors, winning the organization's Latin program pitcher of the year award in his 2007 pro debut and having no trouble making the transition to the United States. He projects as a solid No. 3 pitcher, at least, with the potential for two plus pitches and a solid breaking ball. At his best, Pimentel sits at 90-92 mph and touches 95 with his four-seam fastball, which features explosive life up in the strike zone. He needs to do a better job of maintaining his velocity and may add a two-seamer to work lower in the zone. He has one of the best changeups in the system, with good movement and deception on the pitch. His curveball isn't as reliable as his other pitches, but he improved the shape of it in 2009. Pimentel always has thrown strikes, and the next step will be to locate his pitches with more precision. He's well ahead of most 20-year-olds and could reach the majors by 2012.
Signed for only $25,000 in 2006, Pimentel was Boston's Latin program pitcher of the year in his 2007 pro debut. Determined to avoid the Rookie-level Gulf Coast League, he showed enough polish last spring to earn an assignment to the New York-Penn League. At 18, he was the short-season circuit's youngest rotation regular. Pimentel is an exceedingly projectable pitcher with already intriguing stuff. He has fine command of an 88-92 mph fastball that could add another 2-3 mph, and his advanced changeup is the best in the system. Both should be plus pitches with more consistency, while his curveball projects as an average offering. He has a loose arm, sound delivery and maturity beyond his years. He wasn't fazed when he drew the start in Lowell's annual game at Fenway Park. Pimentel's fastball is more notable for his command of it than its life, and his pitches flatten out when he doesn't stay on top of them. He needs to tighten his curveball, which will be a point of emphasis in 2009. Even if the Red Sox move him just one level per year, Pimentel will be ready for the majors at age 23. He has the arsenal, savvy and makeup to speed up that timetable, too. He'll pitch in low Class A in 2009.
Best Tools List
- Rated Best Slider in the Pittsburgh Pirates in 2014
- Rated Best Changeup in the Boston Red Sox in 2011
- Rated Best Changeup in the Boston Red Sox in 2009