Appreciating and Projecting Ubaldo Jimenez

Last year the baseball world was going crazy over Zack Greinke and deservedly so. After his start on May 26th, here was his fantasy line:

8 W, 0.84 ERA, 81 Ks, 0.88 WHIP

Flash forward to 2009 and check out Ubaldo Jimenez through the same time span:

9 W, 0.88 ERA, 61 Ks, 0.925 WHIP

Greinke was a shade better but nevertheless we as baseball fans should be more wowed by Jimenez than we have been. Here on FanGraphs, we have had just one article between the fantasy side and the mainland on Jimenez, and that was a piece by R.J. Anderson that talked about four pitchers with ERAs under 1.00 in April. So it is like ΒΌ of a story on Jimenez.

Jimenez has been a fantastic fantasy pitcher so far in 2010. CBS Sports ranks him as the top fantasy player overall, as does Last Player Picked and the RotoTimes Player Rater.

My favorite Jimenez stat is his ERA+, which currently stands at 515. Of course with an ERA that low, you would imagine that his FIP and xFIP would tell a different story. While his ERA is 0.88 his FIP is 2.71 and his xFIP is 3.58, which still ranks 16th among qualified pitchers.

RoS ZiPS does not anticipate Jimenez coming anywhere close to his current pace. It projects an 11-9 record with a 3.84 ERA going forward. Those numbers seem pessimistic to me but last year Greinke went 8-7 with a 2.80 ERA and 161 Ks from May 27th through the end of the season.

My WAG on Jimenez for the rest of the season is:

13 Wins
2.50 ERA
125 Ks
1.200 WHIP

In the comments section, leave your projections for Jimenez from now until the end of the year. In the offseason, I will do a follow-up piece and acknowledge the person who made the best fantasy projection for Jimenez before his May 31st start.

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12 wins
2.66 ERA
140 Ks
1.18 WHIP