Tigers Scouting Report #16: Joe Jimenez

Joe Jimenez came to the organization as an undrafted free agent out of Puerto Rico - usually such players don't elicit much excitement, but Jimenez isn't the usual case. Find out why the Tigers got a steal when they signed the young power arm.

Joe Jimenez


Position: Right-handed Pitcher
Date of Birth: 1/17/1995 (2014 Opening Day Age: 19)
Height/Weight: 6-3/220
Bats/Throws: Right/Right
Acquired: Amateur Free Agent, 2013
Ranking History: #16 (2014)

Background: Projected as a potential fifth round pick entering last year's draft, Jimenez fell due to high bonus demands. The Tigers stayed on him and signed him for less than $100,000 as an undrafted free agent. He debuted in the GCL and posted a 0.50 ERA in 18 innings.


2013 Stats - Pitching
GCL Tigers 80118.0901162400.500.833-0

Scouting Report

Body: Mature body; thick lower half; stout legs; big butt; broad shoulders; no taper; looks stockier than he is and doesn't look like listed height because of broad proportions; has toned some in the last year; body lacks projection; will have to be maintained/watched closely.

Delivery/Mechanics: Very slow from rocker to balance; has some wrap of the hand on the stab; extremely fast arm; drives hard to the plate; a little effort on the finish; will fall to first base side; manages to keep consistent slot; extends well out front; has mechanics to handle heavy workload.

Fastball: Sits 89-92 with heavy sink; reaches 94 with four-seam FB; works down consistently; difficult to lift; forces hitters to pound FB into ground; movement is impressive and can dominate at times; can rely heavily on pitch throughout starts; without physical projection, FB won't gain much velo; could add a half tick with professional strength program. Grade – Present 5/Future 5+

Slider: Scrapped CB in favor of SL; pitch works much better in low-80s with tight spin and good two-plane tilt; needs consistency; lacks command of offering; typically throws pitch in the strike zone; needs to learn to throw as chase; some potential as swing-and-miss second pitch but needs full grade jump to achieve that status; average at present; more projection than FB but not much. Grade – 5/6

Changeup: Still learning to trust grip; will slow arm and lose deception; when he trusts it, pitch has some sink and can be reasonable third pitch; easily below average; fringe potential. Grade – 3+/4+

Control/Command: Can pound strike zone with FB and SL; loose in zone; needs to refine ability to move FB in and out; will elevate with four-seam; must live down in the zone for success; CH command is way behind thanks to overall lag in pitch development; good control and control profile; potential for at least average command profile.

Other: Good bloodlines (younger brother of A.J. Jimenez); aggressive mentality; likes to attack hitters; desperately wanted to play pro ball; mature approach on the field; needs to develop off-field work ethic to match natural gifts.

Final Word

Summary: Unusual path to pro ball; mature body; limited projection; FB and SL can both play to average now and could reach near-plus levels; CH has potential with some feel and sink, but needs development; strike thrower profile; should eat innings; has bloodlines to help profile.

Risk: Extreme risk; less than 20 professional innings; body will have to be watched; lacks ceiling and will have to max profile to have an MLB future.

Projection: May still get taste of Low-A in 2014; has arsenal and maturity to handle such an assignment; inning eater frame; stuff fits in #3 or #4 starter role; needs to max out CH and command to reach projected role; 3-4 year path through minor leagues at least.

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