Stolmy Pimentel Scouting Report (2009)
Early in the 2009 season, I had circled the Greenville series as a “must see”. Besides Casey Kelly, former Red Sox prospect and current Pittsburgh Pirates pitcher Stolmy Pimentel had garnered quite of prospect hype as an international signing whose bonus ($25,000) made him a bargain basement steal. Fast forward to the off season and Pimentel’s top ten prospect status in the Red Sox organizaion has held steady as both his FIP, K/BB, and HR/9 rates remained almost identical from short season to full season baseball in spite of a gaudy .350 BABIP. Jobbed out of a spot on Baseball America’s “Sally” top 20, Pimentel will enter 2010 as one of the five best starting pitching prospects in the organization.
Physique and Athleticism – Listed at 6’3″, 165 lbs., I’d venture to say Pimentel was closer to 185 in season. However, it was a softer 185 as his frame lacked muscle tone. At 19, he obviously has plenty of time to add size, leaving significant projection as he fills out. Like other pitchers who wear uniforms a size or two too big, the “pajama uniform” look Pimentel employs makes it difficult to really size him up from a physical standpoint.
Mound Presence – In allowing ten base runners in five innings pitched, Pimentel navigated out of tough spots nearly every inning. On the mound, he played the part of focused and unflappable well beyond his years. However, his ability to bare down when in trouble was off set by an inability to locate his fastball early in the count. In leaving a number of first pitch fastballs up and over the plate, Sand Gnats hitters were able to pepper the ball back up the middle on multiple occasions.
Fastball – In watching Pimentel warm up before the game, I openly wondered if the low 90’s velocity I came to see was a realistic expectation. I didn’t see the ball explode out of his hand in the bullpen and it carried over into his pre-game mound warm up. 79-78-79 on the stadium gun while warming up and I could not help but wonder if I was in for disappointment. Then the first pitch….pffft….90 MPH and Pimentel was in business. The explosion I was expecting to see was there with a free and easy arm action which left room for more in the way of velocity. In the first, Pimental sat at 90-92 MPH consistently and effectively mixed in his curve ball. In the second his velocity dipped to 87-90 MPH and he was toppping out at 88 MPH by the fifth.
Most, if not all of Pimentel’s hits allowed were off of the fastball. The pitch lacked movement and was left up in the zone on a number of occasions. Without significant movement, or pinpoint command, I can not consider the offering more than average at this point with room for growth.
Curveball – Consistently in the 72-75 MPH range, the pitch flashed plus and was a couple of ticks away from being considered a true wipe out offering. When kept low, the bottom simply dropped out of the pitch and he did not hesitate to throw it when behind in the count. I’ve read reports of his leaving the pitch up at times, but I did not see it on this occasion. He showed plus command and was able to keep the ball down and away to right-handed hitters at will.
Changeup – One of his more memorable pitches of the outing came on a 79 MPH change to strikeout Mets prospect Sean Ratliff. He left the pitch up in the zone early, but his command improved throughout the outing. Like his fastball, the pitch lacked movement, but the velocity difference between the fastball and change was where it should be.
With three passable pitches and significant room for growth, Pimentel has both a high ceiling and floor. At 19, he ranks as one of the better pitching prospects in the “Sally” and could move from borderline top 10 prospect in the Red Sox organization to the fast track with improved fastball command. Sure he continues to fly under the radar, but I’m sure the Red Sox organization knows Pimentel is the best value to pass through the organization in quite awhile.
24 Jan 2014 / Mike Newman /
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