As you analyze players you begin to notice trends. Some of these are more common and often I will mentally toss a player under the bus even before looking at the statistics. This isn't fair of me, but heck that's just how my mind works. That being said, Jeff Karstens' name alone was screaming at me even before I looked at his numbers. Let's look at his career numbers first: 4.52 ERA, 1.37 WHIP and 4.48 K/9 in just over 500 IP during his MLB career. Its safe to say Karstens' has been a slightly below average major league pitcher over his short career. Did 2011 change the Pirates starter into a fantasy relevant pitcher? Well, if you look at his body of work (3.38 ERA, 1.21 WHIP, 2.91 K/BB) it would appear to be so right? Still, it always pays to look under the hood and there's not a whole lot to like here. He benefited from a highly lucky .275 BABIP and his xFIP is actually a full run higher than his ERA. Not convinced? Well, take a look at some of his base skills: Karstens 5.32 K/9 and average 89 MPH fastball are far from interesting.
Yet, he did manage to keep the ball on the ground at a higher percentage than any other point in his career (46%) and his BB/9 (1.83) or control was excellent. However, its rare where these types of skills make for long term success in the big leagues. At 29 years old, you could argue he's reaching his prime years but what are you really getting here? A pitcher who will not repeat his 2011 numbers and should be avoided in 2012 drafts.