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Fantasy Baseball: It's Time For You to Love Ubaldo Jimenez

If there's one starting pitcher I'm comfortable reaching for in next year's drafts, that guy is Ubaldo Jimenez. People hear/see Ubaldo's name and probably think...Coors...hitter's park...walks a lot of guys...I see Ubaldo Jimenez and I see a number two fantasy starter with number one upside and a K/9 that'll likely be in the 7-8 range with a whip of around 1.20.

Jimenez's FIP suggested he was slightly better than his actual ERA and I fully expect that ERA to drop even more as he progresses in the major leagues. Ubaldo won't necessarily become a 2.80 ERA guy, but he could give you 200+ innings with an ERA hovering in the low 3.00.

Getting into the deeper stats for Ubaldo show nothing but good things. If he continues the stats he's had over the last two years, we'll see a GB% in the top ten in starters for the major leagues at above 50% and an average fastball of 96 MPH. Not only does he throw the hardest fastball on average (for starters) but he throws all of his other pitches for an average speed ranking in or near the top ten for each one.

Looking at three sets of early rankings for 2010, I see Ubaldo hovering near the 20-25 range for starting pitchers with guys like Brandon Webb, Jake Peavy and Cole Hamels and if I'm drafting one of those four players, I'm sticking with the less injury-prone twenty-five year old fireballer, who has one of the highest GB% in the majors and plays for an offense that scored the sixth most runs in 2009.