Ubaldo Jimenez – 2012 Profiles and Projections

Ubaldo Jimenez (28)

W – 13

ERA – 3.85

WHIP – 1.28

K/9 – 8.2


Where did that disastrous 2011 come from?  The 2 most obvious things that stand out were his 65% LOB% and the fastball velocity drop from 96.1 MPH to 93.5 MPH (pretty significant).  There was also talk of minor injuries early on in the year.  His BABIP was .314, which doesn’t seem significantly high, but it was by far the highest of his career.  Similarly his HR/9 was 0.81 HR/9, not particularly high, but by far the highest of his career.  Ubaldo’s walk rate of 3.73-3.74 the last 2 seasons is problematic, though – he’ll likely never be a sub-1.15 WHIP guy, and you should probably expect it to be closer to 1.25.  He definitely needs to improve his efficiency too, as his 17.3 P/IP mark was one of the 6 highest in the majors among starters (due in large part to his walk rate).  Overall though, Jimenez looks like a great bounce-back candidate for 2012, particularly if he can regain the lost velocity on his fastball.  Anytime a pitcher pairs a K/9 rate above 8 with a Ground Ball rate between 47%-55%, it’s a recipe for success.   Moving out of Coors, even to the AL, will help too… bid on him as a solid starter, but he has a lot of upside and you can probably get him for fairly cheap relative to his skill level.

*Update: In his first start of spring training, Ubaldo got knocked around a bit… though as he says only one ball was really hit hard, a bunch of bloopers fell for hits.  The real thing that stood out though was his fastball was clocked between 94-96 MPH, which is great news for the first start of spring!  He’s likely on his way to a big bounce-back season, but pay attention to his subsequent starts as well to make sure he’s keeping the velocity up and hits down.