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Thursday, December 8, 2022

P2Daily: Numbers Couldn’t Tell Story Of Carlos Jimenez’s 2022 Season

By the end of the season, the Bradenton Marauders had one of the more intriguing rotations in the system, and a lot of that had to do with the emergence of Carlos Jimenez.

The righty entered the season without much fanfare, but quickly made a mark for himself with one of the better changeups in the entire system. He mixed that with a mid 90s fastball and big breaking curveball.

His final stat line didn’t do justice to what Jimenez put forth. He finished with a 1-7 record with a 4.13 ERA, holding opponents to a .234 average while walking 45 batters and striking out another 88 in just 69.2 innings pitched.

When Jimenez threw strikes, he was nearly unhittable, but he struggled at times to keep it in the strike zone. Just 59% of his pitches went for strikes, and his walk rate slowly crept in the wrong direction as the season went on. 

Jimenez posted a sub-10% walk rate in two of the first three months of the season, while also striking out 31.5% of the batters he faced — also posting a 3.05 ERA in that span. As 2022 wore on, Jimenez closed out the second of the season with a 18.3% walk rate, also seeing his strikeouts dip as well.

Looking at the numbers and similar skill set, Jimenez is almost reminiscent of Jared Jones from 2021. Jones was young for Single-A, struggled a bit with walks, but struck out a ton of batters.

Jimenez’s struggles in High-A in 2022 makes you wonder if the Pirates should give him another go around in Bradenton, at least to start 2023, to tighten up his delivery before sending him off to Greensboro.

Either way, if you are looking for a pitching candidate to break out next season, Jimenez is as good an option as any in the system. His pitch arsenal has serious upside, it’s just a matter of working it all out on the mound.

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Anthony began writing over 10 years ago, starting a personal blog to cover the 2011 MLB draft, where the Pirates selected first overall. After bouncing around many websites covering hockey, he refocused his attention to baseball, his first love when it comes to sports. He eventually found himself here at Pirates Prospects in late 2021, where he covers the team’s four full season minor league affiliates.

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TNBucs

So, do we think he needs to be protected for the Rule 5 Draft? It would be a huge jump, but I’m reminded of the Brewers taking Wang as someone they thought they could hide in their pen for most of a season despite having never pitched above A-ball.

skliesen

Remind me again how that worked out for Brewers and Wang.

I just can’t see any team rolling the dice on a Pitcher who has trouble throwing strikes, doesn’t have an overpowering fastball, and has never pitched above low A.

EightMenOut

It may have cost Milwaukee the wildcard in 2014. SF and Pittsburgh finished 88-74 and took the two wildcard spots, the Brewers finished 82-80. But, if memory serves me correct, the Brewers imploded the last 6-8 weeks of the season, in part because of an overused bullpen, or at least a bullpen that kept failing them. It didn’t help that for most of the season the Brewers kept Wang on the 26-man roster, as they had to do to keep him, but would only pitch him in a mop up role, putting more innings on their other relievers.

Wilbur Miller

In the end Mil probably torpedoed Wang’s chances of a ML career. The concern, to me, is whether 30 FOs are looking realistically at how these things go and not just reacting to the table pounding.

TNBucs

I agree that Milwaukee likely derailed Wang’s career, but I also don’t have a lot of faith that all front offices think much about what’s best for the player if there is even a slim chance that a move could help their team.

To be very cynical, a team like the Reds that isn’t going to contend in ’23 could draft Jimenez and at best they get a talented arm that is back in the majors in a few years and at worst they hurt his development with the Pirates, and either outcome helps the Reds. That’s more cynical than I actually am ;), but just throwing that out there.

John Dreker

I would protect him, but there’s also little chance he gets selected. His three-pitch mix is special. Mostly due to his changeup, but I think you would have a hard or impossible time finding someone who has a better fastball, better changeup and better breaking pitch than him anywhere in the minors. I think he has the best changeup in the system, so you won’t find anyone with the Pirates who can match all three pitches. When he’s throwing strikes with all three pitches, he was the best pitcher I saw this year.

Wilbur Miller

Yeah, but would you sacrifice Eric Stout to protect him? Or Jeremy Beasley? Or Manny Banuelos? Or Peter Solomon? Or Duane Underwood? Oh, the humanity!

PirateRican21

Wilbur Miller

I kinda doubt Jimenez’ second half numbers mean much. It’s easy to see things slowly tailed off month to month, and his stuff late just didn’t look as sharp. He doubled his IP from 2021. In 2020 it was zero. And R to low A seems like more of a jump than you’d think. That’s becoming clearer, imo, due to the elimination of the levels in between.

I’m very eager to see how GBO goes for him. He’ll come out fresh for a new season, he’ll be older and a bit stronger, he’ll be facing hitters who’ll chase a bit less, and he’ll have the challenge of that absurd ballpark.

Really crazy (and extremely low) possibility: He goes straight to ALT like Ortiz.

Bucs'N'Pucks (Jeff Reed)

Ortiz was also older, by 3.5 years, than Jimenez is. But there is also the matter of Jimenez’s option clock starts ticking if added.

Wilbur Miller

That’s also the argument against adding him, I guess. If you select him and hide him in the bp all year, you’ve got three years to develop him. I can’t see him contributing at the ML level now, so you’ve wasted a year where he’s young and growing, which makes two wasted years of the last four. It’s really a disservice to the player.

joebaseball

I’m starting to wonder about the ‘prospects’ will you be doing a projected 40 man and rule 5 listing at some point?

EightMenOut

There are likely at least 9 players the Pirates could DFA if they need to open space for prospects, the only caveat is that they need to keep around placeholders for some relievers/pitchers as there will be some that are ineffective. My list right now has 11 that could be DFA’d to make room:

Collins (C/1B)
Sanchez(C)
Park(2nd)
Stephenson (RP)
Banuelos(RP)
Mears(RP)
Yajure(RP)
Sulser(RP)
Solomon(RP)
Stout(RP)
Beasley(RP)

Todd

Don’t forget-no offer to Newman for arb and one of the catchers can go; Delay
or Heineman. We are supposing they will sign a vet.

I have 7 players to protect plus activate 3 from the 60-day DL

roberto

I’m confused. Why exactly do you want to non-tender Newman? He seems like a useful player.

Wilbur Miller

We’ll have something. I think Ethan will do a rundown. I certainly will.

roberto

I noticed how much he falls to the left, which limits control and command. Nolan Ryan used to do that and was wild. Finally, his pitching coach with the Angels in Ryan’s seventh year in the majors started a simple drill to make him go straight to the plate. Man, the development process has changed.

bradlej31

his changeup and FB have very similar releases.

PirateRican21

My favorite lower level pitcher, 3 above average to plus pitches. That’s a great foundation to work with, let’s hope he developes.

bianco599

Man, I love The Verve. Good choice for the song. So much more than Bittersweet Symphony.

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