With Opening Day a little more than a week away, here is a look at the projected rosters for each of the 16 National League clubs following conversations with club executives and media members. Keep in mind these are projected rosters and subject to change. American League lineups are here. You can also look at the fantasy depth charts at any time to see our latest updated projections.
With Opening Day a little more than a week away, here is a look at the projected rosters for each of the 14 American League clubs following conversations with club executives and media members. National League lineups are here. You can also look at the fantasy depth charts at any time to see our latest updated projections.
Late-inning stoppers can be one of the most high-risk positions you need to fill when building your team.
Now that we've finished with the starting pitchers and the positional players, it's time to rank the closers. There are a few teams that haven't finalized their closer role yet, and in those cases I took the candidate that is most likely to secure the job, rather than listing all of them. The number of saves a closer might get was obviously a big factor, but just as with starting pitchers, ERA, WHIP, and strikeouts have a great deal of influence on the rankings. Luckily, there seems to be a good number of closers this year who are capable of helping you on all fronts, based on PECOTA's projections.
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.
Jeff Angus takes a look at how the White Sox' closer usage pattern stacks up against more dominant patterns, and has some illuminating insight into the 2005 Champions' brand of baseball.
The 2005 World Championship Chicago White Sox got the rap of
being a "hustle-ball" or "anti-Moneyball" team.
False. One of the pillars of their success was the ability to
deliver on an innovation that's best known as the failed child of
Bill James and Theo Epstein: The "Closer by Committee."
How Chisox General Manager Ken Williams and Manager Ozzie Guillen
delivered value from the discredited concept is enlightening,
and, because of the team's championship, it's something that's
likely (though not certain) to be imitated. As with most
competitive tools, it wasn't invented from scratch, but diffused--in this case, from the other side of Chicago.
Has the success of Huston Street and Chad Cordero inspired organizations to look for immediate help from college closers? Jeff takes a look.
Devine, the 27th overall pick by the Braves, has already agreed to a $1.3 million signing bonus and has been assigned to the Braves' high-A club in Myrtle Beach. Hansen, a Scott Boras client, might have dropped in the draft to the Red Sox because of perceived signability issues, falling to 26th overall. He hasn't signed yet. Many analysts have suggested that Hansen and Devine could be the first two products from this draft to reach the majors.
As we chronicled in Baseball Prospectus 2000, the current thinking
on how to build and run a major-league bullpen may be changing. For 20
years, teams have used their "closer"--a term originally used to
designate a team's best reliever--more and more exclusively in what we call
"save situations:" the ninth inning with a lead of one to three
runs. Implicit in this thinking is that the most important situations are
the ones that qualify a reliever for a save if he does his job.
Over time, the design of the save rule led teams to use their best reliever
to pitch exclusively in save situations, presuming that those situations
are the ones in which a top reliever will do his team the most good by
guaranteeing victory in a close game.