Eswarlin Jimenez, LHP, Starter/Reliever
A young southpaw that is learning how to be a strong pitcher who gets easy outs at each level, Eswarlin Jimenez is a possible hidden gem in the Angels system. After three seasons with the Angels Dominican Summer League team, the Angels decided to put Jimenez in the states. Once in the United States, he made an immediate jump to Low-A Cedar Rapids Kernels, skipping rookie ball. His body grew with age, and some mechanics dropped, putting Jimenez's numbers down, but he showed raw talent from the mound in both starting, and relief roles.
"Eswarlin is interesting because if and when he has a consistent arm slot he is good. Needs to develop consistency in his delivery and work on his mental aspect. Has an average to below fastball at times with a slider that shows to be a plus pitch and a changeup that isn't used enough." - Professional Pitcher
Jimenez picked up slight velocity with body development, which has made his control decrease ever so slightly, but is still very, very good for the minors. His fastball/changeup come from the same arm slot (if consistent) and will differ from 91-93 down to 80-82. His fastball has sinking movement and combo with that with the changeup, you get a lot of groundballs. If he makes a change in his two-strike pitch from the slider to the changeup, he could be slightly less predictable and force more outs at the plate instead of the field (strikeouts).
From 2009 to 2011, Jimenez spent his time with the Angels Dominican Summer League Team, where he went from a crafty 17-year-old, to a dominant 18 and 19-year-old. With 238.1 innings pitched in the DSL, Jimenez posted a 2.30 earned run average with a 1.070 WHIP. Control and command were at an all-time high for Jimenez as he walked just two per nine, struck out eight per nine, and allowed just one home run his entire DSL career.
Jimenez came over to the states in 2012, where he shined as a 20-year-old in Low-A Cedar Rapids and High-A Inland Empire 66ers, posting a 3.38 ERA over 117.0 innings pitched, but like most rookies, saw batters figure him out later in the season.
In 2013, things started falling apart in the hitter friendly California League. After six consecutive quality starts to begin the season, Jimenez lost his command in the next five and was moved to the bullpen. Despite one weak performance in the bullpen at the extremely hitter friendly Hangar of Lancaster, he had six of his nine relief performances coming with no runs against him.
EXPECTED IN THE FUTURE:
We expect Jimenez to spend a third season in High-A with the Inland Empire 66ers with a possible callup late in the season to the Double-A Arkansas Travelers. He'll have to develop a strong mental presence on the mound, and be able to keep his mechanics and arm slot consistent to compete well at the Double-A and Triple-A levels. If he is able to maintain those things and is kept as a starter, we see Jimenez developing into a Francisco Liriano type of pitcher, and becoming a four starter in the Majors. With that said, our estimation for Jimenez to reach the Major Leagues is mid 2016.
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