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Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Scouting Report, RHP Ubaldo Jimenez

Ubaldo Jimenez, 26 years old, was signed as an international free agent out of the Dominican Republic in 2001, and has always possessed a rocket arm and filthy stuff, he just needed to harness it. Well for those who remember his stats through May 26th (0.88 ERA and 0.95 WHIP), he may have finally harnessed it. He is signed through 2012 (4 yr/10 million) and has 2 options for 2013 and 2014. He is making less than Alex Cora this year (1.25 million). He's in his 5th major league season and is 48-30, with a 3.53 ERA and 1.27 WHIP. He's made 4 career starts (29 innings) versus the Mets, and is 2-1 with a 2.79 ERA and 1.06 WHIP.

Jimenez has a big, powerful arm and a pitcher's body (6'4" 210). He challenges hitters with a fastball that flirts with 100 mph (averages 96) and a powerful sinker. He also features a late-breaking slider (14% of the time, 86 mph) and a 12-6 curve-ball (79 mph), along with a solid change-up (88 mph). He may throw one or two splitters a game. His fastball has been one of the best pitches in baseball this year, and his change has been outstanding as well. His slider had been a top pitch last year, but he's throwing his change-up more this year and you can't argue with the results. He throws 1st pitch fastball 72% of the time, and has shown he can throw any of his four pitches with two strikes, so good luck if you get behind in the count.

This year he's a Cy Young candidate, with a 17-2 record (22 starts, 148 innings), a 2.61 ERA and 1.10 WHIP. He strikes out > 8/9, and is a ground ball pitcher (> 50%). He has cut down his walks to 3.6 W/9 (4.6 in 2008). He limits HRs (7 HR in 148 innings), and has thrown 3 complete games and 2 shutouts this year. His last two starts versus the Pirates and the Giants, he's gone 7 innings and allowed only 1 run each game.

He's a front of the rotation starter who is continuing to improve.

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