Pittsburgh Pirates 2014 Top Prospects: #13 – Stolmy Pimentel

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To recap the countdown so far:

20. Michael De La Cruz, OF
19. JaCoby Jones, OF
18. Barrett Barnes, OF
17. Cody Dickson, LHP
16. Blake Taylor, LHP
15. Joely Rodriguez, LHP
14. Andrew Lambo, OF

We continue the countdown with the number 13 prospect, Stolmy Pimentel.

Stolmy Pimentel is out of options this year, and has to crack the 25-man roster to remain with the Pirates. (Photo Credit: David Hague)
Stolmy Pimentel is out of options this year, and has to crack the 25-man roster to remain with the Pirates. (Photo Credit: David Hague)

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.

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  • What are we going to do with gomar? He is out of options, no?

    • I like Gomez too. Knew nothing about him at the start of the season. I think of him as one of the unsung heroes of the team last season. Need a spot starter… did a good job. Need short relief or closer… Gomez. Need long relief…. Gomez. He did it all and seems to do it quite successfully. Just a nice MLB player doing his job and helping his team.

  • hey tim, adding an age or dob would be helpful on these. balls.

  • I agree that the Pirates know they got a great return for Joel Hanrahan with Mark Melancon having a career year in 2013 as our 8th inning/Closer and Stolmy Pimental at age 24 is definitely the icing on the cake. He has Closer stuff, and all he has to do is report to ST in good shape. I think that he will have to start in the Bullpen, and see how it goes from there. Remember, we used up Melancon and Grilli in 2014 and it is anybody’s guess how they will report for duty in 2014. Jason Grilli is 37 and will be a FA after the close of the 2014 season. Additionally, there are other RH guys in the BP who are not locked into long term gigs, such as Jeanmar Gomez and Vin Mazzaro. They both pitched well in 2013 but neither has the stuff that Pimental can bring to the table. I think the BP will be Grilli, Melancon, Pimental, Wilson, Watson, and Numbers 6 and 7 could be a tossup. Of course, the SP Rotation will be Liriano, Cole, Morton, and to start the season a choice of Rodriguez, Locke, Pimental, Cumpton, or Gomez. Wandy could be No. 4, and Jeff Locke, who still has Options available, could start the year at AAA, thereby opening a SP slot for Pimental and allowing one of the others to get into the BP. We know that Liriano and Rodriguez are going at some time during the year, and earlier rather than later if the No. 5 SP shows well and Jameson Taillon looks good at AAA.

    Who ever thought the Pirates would have an embarrassment of riches on the mound?

    • Volquez is probably an opening day rotation lock as well.

    • I think that Pimentel is our best option as a #5. Locke completely fell apart after the all star game. I love his upside and would be surprised if he is not in the rotation especially with it looking like A.J. is as good as gone.

      If not in the rotation you would not want to waste his stuff in the BP pitching a inning every other day or so. NH has done a fine job of acquiring young power arms. You can never have to many.