Relief Pitchers

Updated: 1/18/2018 by Max Freeze

Top 15 Relief Pitchers

I know you’re probably wondering why I’m only ranking 15 RPs. That’s a valid question so I’ll answer my own question that I think you’re asking me, or at least wondering. Well, A. it’s still only January, an B. at least a third of the teams have not chosen a closer yet, and C. I C U. Whoops, off track a bit. Some teams will wait until a week or two before the start of the season to finally decide on a closer. I should have the complete RP ranks by start of March though. Stay tuned.

For me, relief pitchers are the most difficult to rank and have the most turn over. I look for four main criteria in an RP: are they the closer (y/n), do they have a 10+ K rate (y/n), do they have a BB rate around 3.25 or below (y/n), and are they on a good team (y/n). If you answered YES to all four, then you win a prize! and that means they are likely in my top five. If they have the first three but are on a bad team, then they fall just a bit. I don’t worry about that as much as the others, look at Alex Colome who led the league in saves on the Rays last year. The bottom tier closers may only have one or to of the qualities I mentioned and that means their job is not secure. An untalented closer without a good team can be a nightmare (aka Sam Dyson). Those situations of course must be monitored so damn closely throughout the season. Alright so let’s take a look at my top 15.

Rank Name Team
1 Kenley Jansen Dodgers
2 Craig Kimbrel Red Sox
3 Aroldis Chapman Yankees
4 Edwin Diaz Mariners
5 Ken Giles Astros
6 Felipe Rivero Pirates
7 Roberto Osuna Blue Jays
8 Corey Knebel Brewers
9 Sean Doolittle Nationals
10 Raisel Iglesias Reds
11 Cody Allen Indians
12 Brad Hand Padres
13 Alex Colome Rays
14 Andrew Miller Indians
15 Arodys Vizcaino Braves

Pretty straight forward, if Rivero was on a better team, he’d be 3rd or 4th. I absolutely love him along with Osuna, and Knebel, I will be owning them wherever I can get them. Andrew Miller in the top 15 seems high but he’s likely to steal 5-8 saves and get 5 or so wins along with top 5 ratios and more innings than other closers, so shouldn’t your strikeouts as much as some others. I mean, we are talking about 100 Ks from Miller!

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