Every year we see a few pitchers drafted outside of the top tier pitchers that wind up in the top 10. Some pitchers who fit this criteria last season were Zack Greinke, Justin Verlander, Javier Vazquez and Adam Wainwright. One pitcher that is a candidate to fit that category this season is Rockies pitcher Ubaldo Jimenez.
There are a lot of thing to like about Jimenez. He throws a fastball that averaged 96 m.p.h. and a changeup that averaged 86 last season. He went 15-12 with a 3.47 ERA. In 218 innings, he allowed 183 hits, walked 85 and struck out 198. He allowed just 13 home runs.
Jimenez is an extreme ground ball pitcher with a rate of at least 52.5 percent the last two years and his fly ball rate has been 28 percent. His K/9 went from 7.79 to 8.17. His WHIP went from 1.43 to 1.23. The biggest thing that really bodes well is Jimenez’s improved control. His BB/9 went from 4.67 to 3.51. He’s very difficult to hit with a batting average against of .245 in 2008 and .229 in 2009. If Jimenez can improve his control further this season, he could really take another huge leap into one of the elite fantasy pitchers. Jimenez certainly has all the skills to succeed and make another jump.
Jimenez currently has an average draft position of 105, which puts him in round nine of a 12-team mixed league draft. If you are an owner who waits on pitchers the first few rounds, Jimenez is a guy to target.
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