BP Daily: Ranking the breakout pitchers

Originally Published: February 24, 2009
By Jay Jaffe | Baseball Prospectus
Last week we used the Breakout Rates found in the 2009 PECOTA projections to identify a handful of promising young hitters with high potential for taking major steps forward this year.

Doing the same for pitchers is a trickier business. A pitcher's Breakout Rate is based on the likelihood that he'll improve his Equivalent ERA by 20 percent relative to the weighted average of his performance over the past three years. Alas, pitcher development is a less predictable enterprise than it is for hitters, who generally peak between ages 25 and 29, so there are a few problems in identifying true breakout candidates among pitchers.