So far this season there hasn’t been a better pitcher in baseball than Ubaldo Jiménez. Jiménez, who is currently 7-1 with a 1.12 ERA, has steadily improved for the Colorado Rockies ever since he made his major league debut near the end of the 2006 season. His first full season was in 2008, where he went 12-12 with a 3.99 ERA in 34 starts. Those are pretty good numbers for a rookie, and the Rockies knew Jiménez could continue to develop into an ace. Well they were right, because everything has come together for Jiménez so far this season, especially on April 17th when he threw the first no-hitter in Rockies’ history. He has some of the best stuff in baseball, with superior velocity to go along with his full arsenal of pitches. He can easily hit 100 mph on the radar gun with his four-seam fastball, his two-seamer tails and sinks like crazy, and his change-up looks like a sinker. He also mixes in a hard slider as well as a 12-6 curveball at times.
With the full arsenal that Jiménez possesses, it’s easy to see why he is already one of the best pitchers (if not the best) of the 2010 season. Another key to his success is that he keeps the ball on the ground. Pitching in the homerun friendly Coors Field makes it important for pitchers to produce ground balls, which is what Jiménez has done. He has given up only one homerun in eight starts so far. The Rockies knew that Jiménez had this kind of potential, which is why they signed him to a four-year contract before the 2009 season. The only knock on Jiménez is his control, since he walks too many batters. In 56.1 innings pitched so far this season, he has 21 walks. He had 6 walks in his no-hitter, but the good thing for he and the Rockies is those walks aren’t turning into runs. Ubaldo Jiménez is the early favorite for the NL Cy Young this season and with his stuff, it looks like he will be a perennial threat to win it.