Pimentel-Guerrero Happy To Be Headed To Xavier
December 14, 2020
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Pimentel-Guerrero Happy To Be Headed To Xavier
BURLINGTON, Ontario - Luis Pimentel-Guerrero was all set to officially make a commitment to play junior college baseball. But then …
“On the day I was supposed to give an answer to an offer from Parkland, Xavier called,” Pimentel-Guerrero reflected. “To be honest, I was going to accept the Parkland offer. I ended up accepting Xavier on the phone. It was too good of an offer to pass up.”
Pimentel-Guerrero and Xavier had been in conversation since the Corpus Christi junior participated in the 2019 Future Games.
“We had talked for months but once it got to winter and it got cold nobody was talking to me,” Pimentel-Guerrero related. “We picked up talking again in the spring to update our conversations.”
Numerous other schools were also in the mix such as Penn State, Liberty and A&M Corpus Christi. Interest actually began after playing for Team Canada in the Future Games with colleges including Maryland, Stony Brook, Oregon, Washington and Purdue along with Xavier attracted to the fifth-rated 2022 in Ontario..
“I had absolutely nothing before the Future Games,” Pimentel-Guerrero said about his recruitment. “The Future Games made it all happen.”
It was a memorable event for Pimentel-Guerrero.
“I did pretty good,” Pimentel-Guerrero admitted. “I put up some great at-bats, including a 12-pitch at-bat where I ended up striking out. I’d never faced that kind of velo before. I got a couple hits, defensively I played great and I did well on the base running side.”
Pimentel-Guerrero played outfield, third base and second base and that is part of what stood out to Xavier.
“I felt comfortable at all the positions,” Pimentel-Guerrero noted.” I don’t have one specific position which I think colleges like. Xavier likes that I’m versatile. The ability to move around can help get playing time. They liked that and my hitting ability.”
Being a switch-hitter is a plus according to the second-ranked junior outfielder in Ontario.
“My dad taught me switch-hitting at the age of eight or nine,” Pimentel-Guerrero explained. “My dominant side was right-handed but I hit better from the left side now with facing so many more right-handed pitchers.
“It’s very beneficial,” Pimentel-Guerrero added. “It’s a bonus skill to have. It sets you apart, not everybody can do it. When you can switch to the other side of the box and be more comfortable when you’re facing a left-handed pitcher throwing 92, it can only help.”
Born in the Dominican, Pimentel-Guerrero moved to Canada in 2010.
“When I first came I lived in a basement for a year until we moved into a small apartment in Toronto,” said Pimentel-Guerrero, who currently lives in a townhouse in Burlington.
Now 17 years of age, Pimentel-Guerrero is grateful to have had the opportunity given to him.
“I couldn’t have done this without my family.” Pimentel-Guerrero explained. “Moving was about my overall future. My parents believed I could get a better education and be more secure in Canada.
“The public schools are not safe in the Dominican. I liked playing baseball down there and think maybe I would have been a better player there, but here in Canada, with Fieldhouse and what I’ve been doing, is good enough.”
Pimentel-Guerrero pointed to his parents, George Halim (PBR Ontario Assistant Director of Scouting) and the Fieldhouse organization for helping him become the player he is, along with Owen Caissie, a 2020 Notre Dame Catholic graduate who played with the Fieldhouse Pirates.
“He talked smack, but it was just tough love,” Pimentel-Guerrero said of Caissie, who is now in the Padres’ organization after being selected in the second round of the 2020 MLB Draft. “He was the biggest teammate that pushed me.”
It has the 5-9 170-pounder ready for his next challenge of playing in the Big East Conference.
“I started thinking about college kind of late,” Pimentel-Guerrero noted. “When I came to Canada I just wanted to get in the big leagues. Around grade eight or nine is when I started thinking about college, but there was nothing specific with college until the Future Games.
“I’ve got two ultimate goals and this is the first,” Pimentel-Guerrero added. “The other is MLB.”
Making strides on the diamond have helped the cause.
“I’ve improved tremendously since covid started,” Pimentel-Guerrero related. “I’ve really gotten my speed up, I ran a 6.7 in October which is a very good improvement for me. My hitting ability has also improved. I did a lot of hand-eye stuff and my ability to field smoothly in the infield and outfield has improved. I’m also better mentally. I was hard on myself before, but now I can calm down my emotions.”
That helped in dealing with the recruiting process for Pimentel-Guerrero.
“After the Future Games a bunch of guys committed right away and another committed during quarantine,” Pimentel-Guerrero said. “I’m thinking … nobody’s talking to me, so I started sending to colleges again. It was kind of frustrating. I wanted to commit back in the summer, I didn’t want to go until November. But it doesn’t matter now, I’m committed. I’m grateful to all the schools that reached out and especially to Ontario George and Chris Kemlo (PBR Ontario Director of Scouting).”
Pimentel-Guerrero is also appreciative with Xavier where he will soon call home.
“They are one of the schools that rode it out and stayed with me the whole time,” Pimentel-Guerrero noted about the university located in Cincinnati. “The coaches were awesome and my relationship with the head coach boosted up my confidence to go there. He really guided me through this when covid started. There weren’t any other schools that went that far. It set them apart.”
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