The Pirates Prospects 2014 Prospect Guide is now on sale. The book features prospect reports on everyone in the system, the 2014 top 50 prospects, and the most comprehensive coverage of the Pirates’ farm system that you can find. While the top 50 prospects are exclusive to the book, we will be releasing the top 20 prospects over the next few weeks. Be sure to purchase your copy of the book on the products page of the site.
To recap the countdown so far:
We continue the countdown with the number 13 prospect, Stolmy Pimentel.
13. Stolmy Pimentel, RHP
Pimentel was a top pitching prospect in the Red Sox system, but saw his stock fall after struggling in Double-A. He added a new slider during the 2012 season with the Red Sox, which led to an increase in his strikeouts. However, his stock dropped enough that Boston included him in the Joel Hanrahan trade last off-season.
The new slider that Pimentel developed quietly saw improvements through the 2012 season, and by the time he joined the Pirates in Spring Training, it was looking like a plus offering. He paired that with a mid-90s fastball that could touch as high as 98 MPH. The combination led to some dominant numbers in Double-A and Triple-A, with Pimentel finally performing like a top prospect. He reached the majors by the end of the year, putting up strong numbers in his limited time in relief.
Pimentel averaged 95 MPH with his fastball out of the bullpen, which was one of the best velocities on the team. His slider sits in the upper 80s with sharp break. The changeup still needs some work, although he fared well this year against lefties with a .681 OPS.
The problem with Pimentel is that he is out of options. That means he needs to be in the majors in 2014, or designated for assignment. The Pirates won’t go that route, but his lack of options could limit his role to the bullpen. He has more value as a starter, where he shows top of the rotation stuff, but profiles as a strong number four due to his lapses with control. The Pirates could find time for Pimentel in the rotation in 2014, possibly in a Jeanmar Gomez role. If he doesn’t make that jump, his fastball/slider combo are good enough to be a closer in the future.