CSS Button No Image Css3Menu.com

Baseball Prospectus home
  
  
Click here to log in Click here for forgotten password Click here to subscribe

<< Previous Article
Fantasy Article Fantasy Players to Tar... (03/03)
<< Previous Column
Fantasy Article State of the Position:... (02/24)
Next Column >>
Fantasy Article State of the Position:... (01/05)
Next Article >>
Minor League Update: S... (03/03)

March 3, 2014

State of the Position

Closers

by Ben Carsley


For the earlier articles in this series, click below:

Do you want the good news or the bad news when it comes to closers?

The good news is that there is any good news at all. Despite the retirement of Greatest Reliever Ever Mariano Rivera, we are currently blessed with five elite relievers who every fantasy owner should be delighted to own. You can probably guess the names, but here they are: Craig Kimbrel, Aroldis Chapman, Trevor Rosenthal, Greg Holland, and Kenley Jansen. These pitchers are young, they are dependable, and they strike out everyone they face. Hooray for these pitchers.

The bad news is that there are 25 other teams who also employ closers, and these teams cause fantasy owners plenty of headaches. Consider that Koji Uehara and Jason Grilli finished as two of the best fantasy closers in the game last season. Meanwhile, Proven Closers™ like Joel Hanrahan, Chris Perez and Carlos Marmol all fell apart.

It can sometimes sound like an exaggeration, but the volatility among closers is not to be understated. Yes, there is turnover on a yearly basis at every position. But if I told you that eight to 10 pitchers who begin 2014 as closers will end 2014 in middle relief, would you doubt me for a second?

You shouldn't, and that makes forecasting which relievers will have success this year and beyond a necessary, but frightening, proposition.

The rest of this article is restricted to Baseball Prospectus Subscribers.

Not a subscriber?

Click here for more information on Baseball Prospectus subscriptions or use the buttons to the right to subscribe and get access to the best baseball content on the web.


Cancel anytime.


That's a 33% savings over the monthly price!


That's a 33% savings over the monthly price!

Already a subscriber? Click here and use the blue login bar to log in.

7 comments have been left for this article. (Click to hide comments)

BP Comment Quick Links

TeamPineTar

Thank you, Ben, for a thoughtful overview of the most volatile position. It's very good on value, strategy in mixed leagues, and especially helpful for those of us in dynasty leagues that you addressed the long term.

Darn it, you went all Joaquin Andujar on us and mailed in the haiku, though. The missus should have made the dinner reservations a half hour later this weekend.

Spring with Matt Berry:
"Don't spend money on closers!"
Way to lose your league.

Mar 03, 2014 03:48 AM
rating: 0
 
boatman44

Ben have to say I'm a little sad to see Sean Doolittle not get a mention for deep league consideration , where holds count.Otherwise a nice list indeed.

Mar 03, 2014 06:36 AM
rating: -1
 
BP staff member Ben Carsley
BP staff

It's hard to be comprehensive when you get that far down the list. Doolittle is a fine choice and a worthy target, yes.

Mar 03, 2014 08:43 AM
 
sldetckl16

Soriano seems in decline (at least his gas) and has a contractual stipulation that may motivate the Nats to keep him out of closing 'too many' games (I think I read 62 games equals a huge option for 2015?).

I had Storen ahead of Clippard for second fiddle, do you agree?

Regards.

Mar 03, 2014 09:14 AM
rating: -1
 
Lloyd Cole

I actually LIKED your haiku. It has a certain elegant simplicity. Except that it's not true.

Mar 03, 2014 09:26 AM
rating: 1
 
BP staff member Ben Carsley
BP staff

This means more to me than you know.

Mar 03, 2014 09:59 AM
 
Matt Martin

I am in a 10-team mixed keeper league, 5x5, traditional scoring categories, 40 players to a team. I have Kimbrel and Cliff Lee in the same retention block, and I can only keep one of them. The one I keep will occupy my 4th round pick. I have already been advised to keep Cliff Lee over Kimbrel but I would like other feedback.

FYI, I also am keeping Sergio Romo in the 25th round.

Thanks
Matt

Mar 03, 2014 12:01 PM
rating: -1
 
You must be a Premium subscriber to post a comment.
Not a subscriber? Sign up today!
<< Previous Article
Fantasy Article Fantasy Players to Tar... (03/03)
<< Previous Column
Fantasy Article State of the Position:... (02/24)
Next Column >>
Fantasy Article State of the Position:... (01/05)
Next Article >>
Minor League Update: S... (03/03)

RECENTLY AT BASEBALL PROSPECTUS
Fantasy Article Expert League Auction Recap: CBS AL-Only
Fantasy Article State of the Position: Relief Pitcher
Fantasy Article The Quinton: Market Corrections and Underval...
The Week in Quotes: February 23-March 1, 201...
Premium Article Rumor Roundup: You Can't Predict Padres
Premium Article Transaction Analysis: It's the Latest Johan ...
Fantasy Article Fantasy Players to Target: Relief Pitchers

MORE FROM MARCH 3, 2014
Premium Article Painting the Black: The Prospect Proximity R...
Pebble Hunting: Mike Trout and the Meaning o...
Premium Article Draft Ten Pack: Jumbo College Edition
Premium Article Raising Aces: Under the Gun 2.0
Minor League Update: Spring Training Games o...
Fantasy Article Fantasy Players to Target: Relief Pitchers
LABR Recap

MORE BY BEN CARSLEY
2014-03-20 - Fantasy Article Five to Watch: American League Post-Prospect...
2014-03-07 - TINO (There Is No Offseason): Ep. 9: You Sou...
2014-03-05 - Fantasy Article Get to Know: Relief Pitcher Prospects
2014-03-03 - Fantasy Article State of the Position: Closers
2014-03-01 - TINO (There Is No Offseason): Ep. 8: Maybe H...
2014-02-26 - Fantasy Article Get to Know: Starting Pitcher Prospects
2014-02-23 - TINO (There Is No Offseason): Ep. 7: Hard D
More...

MORE STATE OF THE POSITION
2015-01-19 - Fantasy Article State of the Position: Second Base
2015-01-12 - Fantasy Article State of the Position: First Base
2015-01-05 - Fantasy Article State of the Position: Catchers
2014-03-03 - Fantasy Article State of the Position: Closers
2014-02-24 - Fantasy Article State of the Position: Starting Pitchers
2014-02-18 - Fantasy Article State of the Position: Outfielders
2014-02-10 - Fantasy Article State of the Position: Third Basemen
More...