Tigers Prospect Profile: RHP Joe Jimenez

Jimenez was a big undrafted free agent signing

Despite receiving little fanfare when the signing was made, the Tigers might have gotten a steal when they signed right-hander Joe Jimenez out of Puerto Rico. Going undrafted because of bonus demands, what did the Tigers get when they signed Jimenez?

Joe Jimenez
Position: Right-handed Pitcher
Height: 6-3
Weight: 22
Born: 1/17/1995
Bats: Right
Throws: Right

Acquired: Undrafted Free Agent
Ranking History: N/A

Background
Considered by several sources to be the top pitcher in Puerto Rico heading into the 2013 draft, Jimenez went undrafted after refusing to back down from his lofty bonus demands.

The Tigers stayed on Jimenez in the weeks following the draft and beat out several other interested teams to sign him as an undrafted free agent; forgoing his commitment to Florida Intenrational. In the end, Jimenez simply wanted to play pro ball and signed with the Tigers for less than $100,000.

Scouting Report
Jimenez has a physical, mature body that's already a healthy 6-foot-3 and 220 pounds. His conditioning needs improvement but he has the makings of a durable, workhorse body that can devour innings at the highest level.

Jimenez's bread and butter is a heavy 90-92 mph fastball that reaches 94 mph at times. He is loose in the zone with his fastball and will have to develop more command as his mechanics hopefully improve. Mechanically, Jimenez lacks consistency and there is some crudeness and effort at the end of his delivery.

For a breaking ball, Jimenez has shown two distinct pitches in the past. His soft, loopy curveball is a well below-average pitch that likely won't remain a part of his arsenal long term. On the other hand, his slider made very good strides throughout the spring and now projects as an above-average pitch that can miss bats down the line.

Jimenez's development of a changeup is still in the early stages but he has shown some solid feel for the pitch early on. He maintains his arm speed and flashes an ability to turn it over, giving him some projection for a third average or better pitch.

Jimenez is a raw product, but one with very real potential. He is a smart pitcher that shows an ability to apply what he is taught quickly. The developmental path will be long and arduous for Jimenez, but if he successfully navigates it, he could become a workhorse mid-rotation starter.

Performance

High School stats not available

Health Record
Jimenez has been injury free throughout his amateur career and has the projection for a durable body as he matures.

Projection
Jimenez's projection is very abstract at this point. He has the raw ingredients to become a very enticing prospect with a number three starter ceiling, but it could be five years before that potential is realized. Jimenez will move slowly for the time being and if things go well, he could see full-season ball in 2014.

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