2011 Fantasy Baseball Big Board, Nos. 51-60: Ubaldo Jimenez or Justin Verlander?

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2011 Fantasy Baseball Big Board, Nos. 51-60: Ubaldo Jimenez or Justin Verlander?
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Our 2011 fantasy baseball projections will be released one-by-one until the top 100 players have been revealed. These rankings consider past achievements, current performance and expected future results based on standard 5×5 H2H settings.

Over the past few weeks, we’ve announced the top 60 players on our 2011 big board. Click on each player’s name for a more in-depth analysis, including 2011 projections!

Check out our 2011 Big Board Top 50 here.

51. Ubaldo Jimenez (SP – Col): 2010 was the third consecutive season his innings pitched, wins, strikeout rate, ERA, WHIP and batting average against all trended in the right direction. Disturbing totals after June (4.34 ERA, 1.29 WHIP, 9.43 K/9, 4.19 BB/9 in 120 1/3 innings), however, raise some red flags. Needs to lower his walk rate (3.74 in 2010) to become an elite fantasy starter.

52. Rickie Weeks (2B – Mil): Led league in plate appearances (754) and finished third in runs scored (112) last season. Tied for HR lead (29) among second basemen and ranked third among his position in RBI (83). Strikeout rate (28.3 percent), contact rate (75.0 percent) and DL stints in four of the last five seasons, however, raise red flags.

53. Derek Jeter (SS – NYY): Career-worst batting average (.270), BABIP (.307), on-base percentage (.340), slugging percentage (.370) and OPS (.710) in 2010. That notwithstanding, he maintained consistent contact (85.5 percent) with an above-average strikeout rate (16.0 percent), while scoring 111 runs and stealing 18 bases. Expect a bounce-back 2011 season.

Which pitcher would you draft first?

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54. Adam Dunn (1B – ChW): Only Pujols has hit more HRs since 2004. Dunn’s incredible durability (missed a total of 26 games over the last seven seasons) has been overshadowed by his notoriously low batting average. Given a season in U.S. Cellular Field in the middle of the White Sox’s order, he’s due for a monster year.

55. Justin Morneau (1B – Min): Wide range of HRs (23, 30, 18) and batting averages (.300, .274, .345) in the last three seasons. He’s endured a long recovery from a concussion last July but appears on track to start on Opening Day. Target Field could limit power potential, but he remains capable of a 30/100/.280 season.

56. Justin Verlander (SP – Det): Very different performances in each of the last three seasons: 7.30, 10.09, 8.79 K/9; 3.90, 2.36, 2.85 BB/9; 4.84, 3.45, 3.37 ERA. 2010 marked improvements in HR/9, BAA, ERA and WHIP for his third consecutive year. However, his Wandy Rodriguez-like home/road splits are frustrating.

57. Chris Carpenter (SP – STL): Best ERA since 2005 (min. 900 innings) at 2.88. Despite average strikeout totals, his stellar walk rates and improving curveball have helped him maintain an incredibly low ERA and WHIP, but others haven’t seemed to notice.

58. CC Sabathia (SP – NYY): Much like fellow southpaw Johan Santana after his age-27 season, Sabathia has experienced negative trends in K/9, BB/9, HR/9, FIP, WHIP, contact rate, first strike rate and swinging strike rate in each of the last three seasons. 

Which outfielder would you draft first?

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59. Jay Bruce (OF – Cin): Career AB/HR rate of 18.63 (compared to Miguel Cabrera’s AB/HR rate of 18.09) only hints at Bruce’s power potential. If his 2010 second half splits (15 HRs, .306/.376/.575) are any indication, he’s finally due for a monster season.

60. Hunter Pence (OF – Hou): One of only three players in 2010 to post at least 90 runs, 25 HRs, 90 RBI, 15 steals and a .280 batting average. Incredible display of consistency in games played (157, 159, 156), home runs (25, 25, 25), batting average (.269, .282, .282) and improving stolen base efficiency over the last three seasons makes him a reliable and well-rounded fantasy option. 

The top 70 on our 2011 Big Board will be announced in the coming days as we continue our journey to rank the top 100 players!

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