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March 4, 2014

Fantasy Tiered Rankings

Relief Pitchers

by Paul Sporer


To read the previous articles in this series, follow the links below:

Today, our positional tier rankings series continues with a look at relief pitching.

Players at each position are divided into five tiers, represented by a numerical star rating. Five-star players are the studs at their respective position. In general, they are the players that will be nabbed in the mid-single digit rounds of most drafts and often go quickly once someone opens the floodgates. Four-star players are a cut below the studs at the position. They will go a little bit after that first tier, usually in the early-double digit rounds.

Three-star closers still have plenty of value because of how important saves are, especially in 4x4 leagues. Most of the three-stars have a wart or two, but if they can patch them up, you could have a stud on your hands. Two-star closers have both the warts and a tenuous hold on their role so you don’t want them being your top closer unless you’re looking to attack the saves game in-season. The one-star arms are the guys who could take the job of those who have those tenuous holds on their roles. The positional tiers aren't simply a regurgitation of last year’s values but rather try to offer some insights into what we expect will happen in 2014.

Five-Star

Kimbrel holds the throne so it’d be silly to take him off of it, but I have a sneaking suspicion that Chapman takes the top spot in 2014. Rosenthal is the unproven one of the group without a full season in the role, but he showed he can handle it in the most pressure-packed of situations: the playoffs. He could easily start if given the opportunity, but instead he’s a 100-strikeout stud reliever ready to ascend up the closer ranks.

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

BP Comment Quick Links

BERSMR

I find it interesting that in just about every ranking of relievers I have seen this spring that Josh Fields is nowhere to be found, yet in every "expert's draft" or auction I have seen, Josh Fields is taken, off for significant value. Most recently, Fields went for more than Qualls or Crain in AL LABR. Any thoughts about whether, absent rule 5 considerations keeping him in the majors, Fields has a chance to play a significant role at the back end of the Astros bullpen this year, perhaps even with Crain on the dl, to start the season?

Mar 04, 2014 06:02 AM
rating: 0
 
Daff38

No Tazawa? Scheppers? Are you going to tier the top non-Closer relievers?

Mar 04, 2014 14:01 PM
rating: 1
 
Bwamps

Pick the RP (stats are BP 2014 projections):

Pitcher A: 2.86 ERA, 1.12 WHIP, 66K, 34SV, 1.3 WARP
(39 years old and pitches in the AL)

Pitcher B: 2.68 ERA, 1.05 WHIP, 61Ks, 34 SV, 1.2 WARP
(33 years old and pitches in the NL)

Both are "proven" closer with over 300 and 200 career saves respectively.

Who would you rather have?

Mar 04, 2014 15:45 PM
rating: 0
 
Bwamps

Pitcher A is 4-Star ranked Joe Nathan

Pitcher B is 2-Star Ranked Jonathan Papelbon

Has the hate gone to far on Pap?

Mar 04, 2014 15:47 PM
rating: 0
 
BP staff member Paul Sporer
BP staff

Keep in mind where Papelbon is trending. K% and SwStr% are plummeting, WHIP and FIP are on a sharp incline. Nothing is going in his favor.

Nathan's ERA, WHIP, and FIP are trending the right way.

Mar 04, 2014 16:00 PM
 
Robotey

why do you have Axford over Parnell?

Mar 04, 2014 16:29 PM
rating: 0
 
Tuck
(667)

You're misreading badly on Reed. Gibby and Towers are extremely loyal guys and Putz profiles better in a 3-out, nobody on role. It won't be a surprise at all if they use Reed as a 7th/8th inning guy before handing him the reins in 2015 (which Gibby has already said is assured). Personally, I think Reed will get it, but a four-star grade should come with absolute certainty that the guy has the job. That's not the case here.

Mar 04, 2014 18:57 PM
rating: 1
 
Bwamps

Paul - totally agree Pap is trending down and Nathan is not. But the gap between the two was just to big not to mention. Appreciate your work, thanks.

Mar 04, 2014 23:53 PM
rating: 0
 
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<< Previous Article
LABR Recap (03/04)
<< Previous Column
Fantasy Article Fantasy Tiered Ranking... (02/25)
Next Column >>
Fantasy Article Fantasy Tiered Ranking... (01/06)
Next Article >>
Premium Article Rumor Roundup: A Trio ... (03/04)

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