Relief Pitchers

Updated: 2/23/2018 by Max Freeze

Final Relief Pitcher Rankings 2018

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.

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 Wade Davis Rockies
14 Mark Melancon Giants
15 Brandon Morrow Cubs
16 Alex Colome Rays
17 Hector Neris Phillies
18 Blake Treinen Athletics
19 Andrew Miller Indians
20 Arodys Vizcaino Braves
21 Jeurys Familia Mets
22 Kelvin Herrera Royals
23 Blake Parker Angels
24 Archie Bradley Diamondbacks
25 Shane Greene Tigers
26 Brad Brach Orioles
27 Brad Ziegler Marlins
28 Greg Holland
29 Dellin Betances Yankees
30 Fernando Rodney Twins
31 Chad Green Yankees
32 Alex Claudio Rangers
33 David Robertson Yankees
34 Juan Minaya White Sox
35 Keone Kela Rangers
36 Jose Leclerc Rangers
37 Tyler Lyons Cardinals
38 Josh Hader Brewers
39 Mychal Givens Orioles
40 Cam Bedrosian Angels
41 Carl Edwards Jr. Cubs
42 Addison Reed Twins
43 Chris Devenski Astros
44 Kyle Barraclough Marlins
45 Brad Boxberger Diamondbacks
46 Justin Wilson Cubs
47 Juan Nicasio Mariners
48 Ryan Madson Nationals
49 Kirby Yates Padres
50 Tommy Kahnle Yankees

Hit me up on twitter with any comments or questions.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!