Pimentel soaking in Futures Game
There have been some years when prospects from the Red Sox who arrived at the Futures Games were players you had been hearing about for a while. For instance, when Clay Buchholz and Jacoby Ellsbury played in the 2007 game at San Francisco, Ellsbury had already been called up to the Majors once and Buchholz was less than two months from his no-hitter against the Orioles. Last year, Casey Kelly and Junichi Tazawa represented the Sox in St. Louis, the latter player having made his debut for the Sox in ’09 and the former on the fast track, perhaps the top pitching prospect in the organization.
But this year, there is a far less heralded prospect named Stolmy Pimentel who is the lone Sox rep playing today in Anaheim. The righty was signed out of the Dominican Republic by Craig Shipley and his stafff on July 2, 2006.
“It felt really good,” Pimentel said of being selected to pitch in the Futures Game. “I was very excited to be here competing with the other guys. You are represending your team and your country.”
Pimentel, at the age of 20, is obviously still a work in progress. Pitching for Salem in the Carolina League (Class-A), Pimentel is 5-7 with a 4.61 ERA in 18 starts this season. His overall ERA is a little skewed by a June 26 start when he was shelled for 10 hits and eight earned runs over 2 1/3 innings. But he took that in stride and feels good about where he is right now.
“I don’t think about that,” said Pimentel. “I just prepared for my next outing and did a good job. I know that’s going to happen so just keep on working hard. I feel pretty good. The thing is, I keep working on all my pitches all the time. If I feel they are great, I’ll keep working.”
Pimentel wears No. 45 for a reason. He thinks very highly of former Red Sox icon Pedro Martinez. Ervin Santana of the Angels, who wears No. 54, is another Dominican player Pimentel has tried to emulate.
It was a thrill for Pimentel to meet Martinez in the Dominican Republic during a recent winter.
What did Pedro tell Pimentel?
“He told me to keep working hard every time you get the ball. No matter how you’ve been pitching, be aggressive and positive,” Pimentel said of his conversation with Martinez.
The Red Sox are confident that Pimentel will one day find his way to Fenway Park.
What was the scouting and signing process like with Pimentel?
“Once we identify a player we have interest in the scouting process is basically the same for all,” said Shipley, the senior vice president/internaltional scouting for the Sox. “We see the player as much as possible in an environment that allows us to complete the evaluation, in most cases this is very difficult in Latin America. In Stolmy’s case our access was very good, we were able to see him multiple times at our academy over an extended period.”
Shipley’s impressions thiese days?
“To date Stolmy has showed multiple attributes of a future Major League starter including impressive maturity and work ethic while pitching at an advanced level for his age. We are very happy with Stolmy’s development to date and envision him as future Major League starting pitcher for us,” said Shipley.
“Stolmy did a tremendous job preparing himself for the season and worked hard to continuously improve upon his fastball quality and curveball,” said Red Sox director of player development Mike Hazen. “He is very mature and poised for someone so young and this is much deserved recognition for his season.”
Pimentel’s next step will be to get to Double-A Portland.
“You know, I can’t tell you about that decision. All I can do is keep working and when they see that you’re ready, I know they’re going to give you the ball,” Pimentel said. “I keep working, but I hope to finish in Double-A. That’s my goal for this year. If that doesn’t happen, I have to prepare for next year, maybe I can get there then. My arm feels good and my body feels good. I work hard every day to prepare for whatever decision they want to make.”