by Eddie Mayrose

You’ve gotten your ratings together, the restaurant has been picked and all that’s left is to sit down and select this year’s league champion.  Right?  Not so fast.

Of all the things that lead to a Yoo-Hoo shower at the end of the season, those intangibles that help you work your way through the draft are what will separate you from the rest of the pack.  This week, we’ll bring you some of those intricacies in an effort to help you raise a flag in 2011.

In The Sporting News 2009 Fantasy Baseball Preview, Brad Pinkerton wrote a terrific piece on young pitchers titled, Folding Aces.  In it, he analyzed the performance of these rising stars in the season after their stellar debuts.  He presented a formula for targeting those young hurlers that could reasonably be expected to turn up on the disabled list or suffer a disappointing campaign.  He had my interest when he presented those hurlers that violated his criteria in 2007.  Ian Kennedy, Dustin McGowan, Fausto Carmona, and Yovani Gallardo all turned out to be disappointing selections for Fantasy Baseball owners in 2008.  In  ’09,  Ricky Nolasco, Mike Pelfrey, Glen Perkins and Manny Parra  either underperformed or landed on the DL.  Last season, Max Scherzer, Joba Chamberlain, Mark Rzepczynski, Tommy Hanson and Derek Holland disappointed to different degrees. So, what are these criteria and who’s on the list for 2010?

Pinkerton looked for pitchers 25 and younger who experienced a jump of 30 innings pitched over their previous career high in pro ball. Next, he eliminated any who’d registered 200 IP in any Major League season or had exceeded 35 career starts. What was left was a roster of hurlers with the potential to destroy your season.  Now, it’s not a perfect indicator,as evidenced by the performances of David Price, Trevor Cahill and Ricky Romero.  What it does tell you, though, is that you’re running a big risk if you take more than one of the following guys:

Madison Bumgarner
Brett Cecil
Jhoulys Chacin
Neftali Feliz*
Jaime Garcia
Tommy Hanson
Gio Gonzalez
Mat Latos
Brian Matusz
Jonathon Niese

* Texas may return Feliz to the closer’s role.

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