Luis Jimenez (jimenlu01)
Luis Antonio Jimenez Camacaro
- Bats Left, Throws Left
- Height 6' 3", Weight 280 lb.
Luis Jimenez played 10 seasons in the minor leagues and one in Japan (through 2009). He has led two minor leagues in slugging percentage.
Jimenez debuted in 1999 with the DSL Athletics East, hitting only .212 with no home runs. With the same club in 2000, he batted .285 with five homers and 37 RBI. In 2001, Luis came to the US with the GCL Athletics, batting .214/.280/.257 with 23 strikeouts in 80 AB.
Jimenez moved to the Baltimore Orioles system in 2002 and hit .375/.474/.597 as a 1B-OF for the Bluefield Orioles, emerging as an offensive threat. He led the Appalachian League in average and slugging. He was named to the league All-Star team at DH but lost Player of the Year honors to home run king Wes Bankston. In 2003, Luis hit .244/.349/.315 for the Aberdeen Ironbirds, ending his time in Baltimore's chain.
Taken by the Los Angeles Dodgers in the minor league portion of the 2003 Rule V Draft, the 22-year-old first baseman batted .288/.372/.508 for the Columbus Catfish with 20 home runs and 75 RBI in 2004.
The Venezuelan native was picked up by his fifth organization in six years in 2006, the Boston Red Sox. Assigned to the Portland Beavers, he produced at a .276/.371/.471 rate with 17 home runs. He actually stayed in one place for a short while, hitting .148/.231/.210 in 25 games for the AAA Pawtucket Red Sox in 2007, before Boston bid him adieu too.
Baltimore brought Jimenez back into their chain and he hit .328/.399/.581 with 22 homers and 79 RBI in 90 games for the Bowie Baysox for the remainder of 2007. Despite only playing part of the year in the Eastern League, he was only six home runs behind league leader Jeff Larish. Jimenez paced the circuit in slugging. Although he joined the Orioles organization partway through the year, he tied Oscar Salazar for the most homers by a Baltimore farmhand in 2007. His 11 errors tied Josh Whitesell for the most by a EL first sacker.
Switching systems for the sixth time, Jimenez signed with the Washington Nationals for 2008. He split the year between the Harrisburg Senators (.260/.351/.463, 14 HR in 77 G) and the Columbus Clippers (.330/.404/.407 in 33 G).
Jimenez's next stop came in Japan, signing with the Nippon Ham Fighters for 2009. Batting sixth and playing first base on Opening Day, he went 0 for 4. The next day, he homered off Marcus Gwyn for his first hit in Nippon Pro Baseball but things went downhill from there. He only hit .231/.268/.397 with 5 homers in 39 games, earning him his release. Shinji Takahashi took over at first base after Jimenez was waived.
He had a fine winter with his hometown Cardenales de Lara (.326/.426/.560, 26 BB, 9 HR, 43 RBI in 39 G), 6th in slugging in the Venezuelan Winter League and tying Tom Evans for 4th in RBI. He still drew no interest from MLB or NPB teams for the 2010 summer. He was thus available for the Venezuelan national team in the 2010 Central American and Caribbean Games, in which he went 5 for 18 with 5 walks, 5 runs and four RBI as Venezuela's starting first baseman, homering against the Virgin Islands.
- 2002-2009 Baseball Almanacs
- Japan Baseball Daily
- Pat Doyle's Professional Baseball Player Database
- Article in Venezuelan publication about Jimenez playing in the 2010 Central American Games