A pitcher’s ERA is probably the statistic around which we evaluate all the other numbers. If a hurler has a 3.25 ERA, we check out his win totals and strikeouts and assume he is one of the league’s top pitchers. But if another arm owned a 4.25 ERA, we wouldn’t be nearly as excited. That idea is not only flawed, it’s almost backwards.
There are a lot of sleeper and bust columns in magazines, on line and in books at this time of year. This one, technically, can be listed among them, but like all “Deep Dive” columns it is rooted in the underlying sabermetric stats, and it aims to put 2012 statistics into context.