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 Freestyle: Pro... (03/06)
<< Previous Column
Fantasy Article Dynasty League Positio... (02/27)
Next Column >>
Fantasy Article Dynasty League Positio... (01/08)
Next Article >>
Premium Article Minor League Update: S... (03/06)

March 6, 2014

Dynasty League Positional Rankings

Top 75 Relief Pitchers

by Bret Sayre

the archives are now free.

All Baseball Prospectus Premium and Fantasy articles more than a year old are now free as a thank you to the entire Internet for making our work possible.

Not a subscriber? Get exclusive content like this delivered hot to your inbox every weekday. Click here for more information on Baseball Prospectus subscriptions or use the buttons to the right to subscribe and get instant access to the best baseball content on the web.

Subscribe for $4.95 per month
Recurring subscription - cancel anytime.


a 33% savings over the monthly price!

Purchase a $39.95 gift subscription
a 33% savings over the monthly price!

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

For the earlier editions in this series, follow the links below:

The Primer:
Because dynasty league rankings are relatively league dependent, I set up parameters for ranking the players below (and the ones who will follow at other positions). The list here presupposes a 16-team standard dynasty format, where there are no contracts/salaries, players can be kept forever and owners have minor league farm systems in which to hoard prospects. So feel free to adjust this as necessary for your individual league, whether it’s moving non-elite prospects without 2014 ETAs down if you don’t have separate farm teams or moving lower-risk, lower-reward players up in deeper mixed or only formats.

Let’s be honest right up front: if there’s anything that can be as fickle as a prospect list, it’s a long-term reliever list. Relievers break out, they break down, they lose roles and that can all happen in a single year. When you look at the position across many years, the task grows fickle as unlike any other position, reliever values are predicated on saves and saves are determined, not by skill but, by manager preferences. And predicting manager preferences three years down the road is, well, kind of pointless. Additionally, this list does not presuppose that your league counts holds—it’s the save’s world and we just occupy it. You’ll also notice that there are a small handful of players on this list who project as potential starting pitchers down the road, but if they would only have been eligible in a RP slot (if your league designates like that) and are not guaranteed a rotation spot in 2014, they will be ranked here and not on the starting pitcher list. The two biggest examples of that are Carlos Martinez and Drew Smyly, so value them accordingly.

And now, your Top 75 relief pitchers in dynasty formats:

No matter how you slice it, this is your top five. These closers are all reasonably young, throw gas and capable of striking out over 100 batters per season. In dynasty leagues, it’s not wise to invest heavily in closers because of the huge turnover, but if you’re going to invest, these five are the safest bets. On top of that, there’s very little risk of any of them moving into the rotation—it’s always going to be a slight, slight concern with Chapman and Rosenthal, but I don’t think it’ll ever happen for either.

  • 6) Carlos Martinez, St Louis Cardinals

This was a big point of contention between me and noted Carlos Martinez fanboy and fellow BP writer Craig Goldstein, but let me clarify a few things. One, I do believe that Martinez can start long term from a talent perspective. Two, I don’t believe he’ll crack the rotation in 2014, despite him being a better option than Joe Kelly. Three, I don’t know what the Cardinals have in store for him long term. The talent is there. Buy accordingly.

Here’s the next group, and it rounds out our top 10 nicely. Robertson should be able to run with the job in New York and be fine, but then again, we all thought that when Mariano Rivera went down in 2012 too. Reed hasn’t been as good at the major league level as we thought when he dominated the minors, but he can be better than this—even in that park.

We’ll just call this group the velocity question marks. Feliz is having trouble getting his trademark heat squared away this spring and could start the season on the disabled list if things don’t improve. Papelbon lost his fastball in 2013, but early reports would lead you to believe that it has a chance to bounce back this year. Romo’s velocity continues to decline, especially in the second half of 2013. There aren’t too many closers out there who throw 87 mph. Then there’s Uehara, who doesn’t fit in that category, but scares me regardless because of the 2013 workload including the playoffs.

Solid guys here. And likely to hold on to their jobs, too.

  • 17) Drew Smyly, Detroit Tigers

It would be a big upset if Smyly didn’t make the Tigers’ rotation, but his stats aren’t likely to look as rosy in the rotation as they did in the pen. He’s a solid back-end guy but unlikely to be more.

More closers. They’re probably going to hold on to jobs if they stay healthy. If they hold on to their jobs, they’ll get saves, which is the end goal of all human life.

In terms of skills, Allen may be a borderline top-10 reliever on this list. Unfortunately, life isn’t fair and John Axford has a manly mustache.

Some of these guys have jobs, but some do not. The ones who do not are close to having one and could potentially see real saves in 2014 if things (read: the guys in front of them) break right (read: down).

These three throw very, very hard. Managers love closers who throw very, very hard.

Let’s be honest, you’re not expecting much out of any of these guys. If you got five saves from any of these players you’d be thrilled and it will have been worth the trouble. But I’ll spare you the pain, in dynasty leagues, they’re not worth the trouble.

  • 75) Mariano Rivera, Free Agent

Because, hey, you never know.

Bret Sayre is an author of Baseball Prospectus. 
Click here to see Bret's other articles. You can contact Bret by clicking here

12 comments have been left for this article.

<< Previous Article
Fantasy Freestyle: Pro... (03/06)
<< Previous Column
Fantasy Article Dynasty League Positio... (02/27)
Next Column >>
Fantasy Article Dynasty League Positio... (01/08)
Next Article >>
Premium Article Minor League Update: S... (03/06)

RECENTLY AT BASEBALL PROSPECTUS
Expert FAAB Review: Week 18
Premium Article Minor League Update: Games of Monday, August...
Fantasy Rounders: Say Uncle, Phil
Premium Article An Agent's Take: Serendipitous Spectatorship
Premium Article What You Need to Know: August 4, 2015
Premium Article Ducks on the Pond: The Kiermaier Can
Premium Article Baseball Therapy: No Relief For Starters

MORE FROM MARCH 6, 2014
Overthinking It: The 10 Phases of Phil Hughe...
Premium Article Skewed Left: The Art of Explaining Baseball
Premium Article Changing Speeds: The Optimist's Guide to the...
Sobsequy: A Review of Dirk Hayhurst's "Bigge...
Premium Article Minor League Update: Spring Training Games o...
Fantasy Freestyle: Prospect Theory on Draft ...
Fantasy Article Tale of the Tape: Joe Nathan vs. Sergio Romo

MORE BY BRET SAYRE
2014-03-12 - Flags Fly Forever Podcast: Episode 10
2014-03-11 - Fantasy Article Fantasy Freestyle: Fantasy Platoon Options
2014-03-07 - TINO (There Is No Offseason): Ep. 9: You Sou...
2014-03-06 - Fantasy Article Dynasty League Positional Rankings: Top 75 R...
2014-03-04 - Fantasy Article The Top 101 Fantasy Prospects of 2014
2014-03-04 - Flags Fly Forever Podcast: Episode 9
2014-03-03 - The Top 101 Fantasy Prospects of 2014
More...

MORE DYNASTY LEAGUE POSITIONAL RANKINGS
2015-01-22 - Fantasy Article Dynasty League Positional Rankings: Top 50 S...
2015-01-15 - Fantasy Article Dynasty League Positional Rankings: Top 50 F...
2015-01-08 - Fantasy Article Dynasty League Positional Rankings: The Top ...
2014-03-06 - Fantasy Article Dynasty League Positional Rankings: Top 75 R...
2014-02-27 - Fantasy Article Dynasty League Positional Rankings: Top 175 ...
2014-02-20 - Fantasy Article Dynasty League Positional Rankings: Top 120 ...
2014-02-14 - Fantasy Article Dynasty League Positional Rankings: Top 50 T...
More...