Name: Jorge Quintero
Position: Starting Pitcher
DOB: April 17, 1987
Many Rangers fans are familiar with the stars of A.J. Preller's 2006 international signing class, which included pitching prospects Wilmer Font, Carlos Pimentel, and Geuris Grullon. Though he didn't receive the same recognition as those pitchers, 20-year-old righty Jorge Quintero was also a member of the group.
Quintero was the oldest of the class, and that showed with his 2007 results. The native of Valencia, Venezuela, is not only a more mature player physically, but he is also more mature on the hill. Quintero's ability to locate his fastball and throw command his breaking ball helped him reach High-A Bakersfield in his first season of professional baseball.
"The bottom line is that [Quintero's] throwing more quality strikes than the rest of the group right now," said Rangers minor league pitching coordinator Rick Adair last August. "A lot of it has to do with the fact that he's a little stronger physically and a little more mature."
The hurler's season began in the Dominican Summer League, but he appeared in just one game for the club. He was then brought to the club's minor league complex in Surprise, Ariz., where he competed in the rookie-level Arizona Summer League. Quintero proved to be too advanced for the league, as he permitted only 17 base hits (3 earned runs) in 28 innings with the club.
Following his impressive performance against mostly younger competition, the Rangers sent Quintero to High-A Bakersfield after pitcher Kendy Batista was promoted to Frisco.
"We actually needed another starter in Bakersfield after moving [Kendy] Batista up," said Adair. "We knew this would only be for two or three starts. He had made enough progress that we felt he could go out and compete at that level for a few starts, so we moved him."
Quintero would prove the Rangers right, as he showed he was able to compete at the higher level. Even though the late-season promotion allowed time for just three appearances – two starts – he continued to pitch well. The 6-foot-1 pitcher gave up only six hits in 9 1/3 innings, leading to an earned run average of 2.89.
Repertoire: Fastball, Curveball, Changeup.
Quintero's fastball was a large reason for his success in his debut season. The pitcher's fastball ranges between 88-93 MPH and has some natural sink. But what made Quintero most successful was his ability to command his fastball and throw quality strikes. He also has a curveball that should develop into an above-average pitch in time. Quintero has been working on a changeup, which is currently slightly below-average, but it should also improve with time.
Projection: Although Quintero is currently more advanced than his counterparts from the 2006 signing class, he doesn't possess the ceiling that guys like Font, Pimentel, and Grullon do. But that doesn't mean Quintero cannot be a successful pitcher in his own right. The young hurler already has a solid repertoire that should continue to get better as he matures. Even though he was often looked at as being old for his group in 2007, Quintero and fellow Venezuelan hurler Omar Poveda (both 20-years-old) were Bakersfield's only pitchers under 23 years of age at season's end.
|2007||AZL Rangers (RK)||0-0||28.0||17||7||22||0.96|