Name: Carlos Pimentel
Position: Starting Pitcher
DOB: December 1, 1989
Pimentel was one of the gems of the Rangers' international free agent signing class two summers ago, as he was signed along with fellow highly-touted hurlers Wilmer Font and Geuris Grullon.
Instead of beginning his professional career in the Dominican Summer League – the norm for a 17-year-old first-year Latin player – the Rangers elected to keep Pimentel (along with Font and Grullon) in the States all season.
Part of the reason for keeping Pimentel in the U.S., as minor league pitching coordinator Rick Adair explains, was because he had shown recent improvement.
"[Pimentel's] command, velocity, and all of his stuff has gotten better this year," Adair explained in August. "He is throwing for strikes and he is maturing on the field and off the field."
Pimentel, along with Font and Grullon, participated in the club's extended spring training once regular camp broke at the beginning of April. The pitchers stayed there until the short-season Arizona Rookie League started in late-June. That's when Pimentel began to separate himself from the pack.
The right-hander made 13 appearances – 12 starts – with the AZL Rangers, and struck out 59 batters while issuing just 17 walks in 42.1 innings. Though his 5.53 ERA was less than perfect, it wasn't quite indicative of how he pitched for the majority of the season. Pimentel had a 3.50 ERA entering the season's final ten days, but he gave up 12 earned runs over his last two starts.
High ERA or not, Pimentel's first professional season had to be considered a success. He showed impressive stuff and – for the most part – posted solid results. At 17 years of age, Pimentel would have been a junior in high school had he been a native of the U.S. Instead, he was competing against some of baseball's brightest young prospects.
Repertoire: Fastball, Curveball, Changeup.
Pimentel's outstanding raw stuff allowed him to strike out 12.5 batters per nine innings as a 17-year-old. The righty works in the low-90s – topping out in the mid-90s – with a fastball, which he commands well for his age. Pimentel also features a curveball and a changeup. His curveball is currently further along, but both pitches show potential.
Projection: Pimentel looks to have the ceiling of a middle-of-the-rotation starter at this point, but he has a lot of work to do. The 6-foot-3 hurler is about as far away from the majors as any pitcher in the organization. Pimentel will also have to improve against left-handed hitters, as they hit .358 against him in 2007. With a good body, outstanding stuff [especially for someone who just turned 18 in December], and already solid results, Pimentel is one of the most promising pitchers in the organization.
2008 Outlook: It's anybody's guess as to where Pimentel will pitch this coming season, but Spokane would seem to be the likely destination. Pimentel's 2008 season will probably mirror fellow prospect Fabio Castillo's 2007. Castillo opened the season in extended spring training before making 14 starts with the short-season Spokane Indians. Pimentel will be 18-years-old for the entire 2008 campaign, so there should be no need to push him.
|2007||AZL Rangers (RK)||0-5||42.1||44||17||59||5.53|