Fantasy Baseball: 2010 Top 15 Closer Rankings
Here’s an early look at Closer Rankings.
1. Jonathon Broxton, Los Angeles Dodgers
While I would feel more comfortable handing the ball to Mariano Rivera to close out a game, Broxton is the better fantasy closer because of his high strikeout total.
2. Mariano Rivera, New York Yankees
How long can he stay at this elite level? Until he falters, I can’t bet against him.
3. Jonathan Papelbon, Boston Red Sox
He’s averaged 37.8 saves with a 1.74 ERA over the past four years without much deviation from the mean.
4. Joe Nathan, Minnesota Twins
The thing that scares me with Nathan is his ERA jumped 1.20 points when moving outside. That could present an issue at Target Field. Of course, his outside ERA was still only 2.79.
5. Joakim Soria, Kansas City Royals
His numbers have been scary good the past two years for the Royals. He’ll need to stay healthy, and have plenty of save opportunities to justify his ranking.
6. Jose Valerde, Detroit Tigers
He struggled with just 25 saves last year, but averaged 45.5 the previous two seasons. I’m expecting that a bounce back is in order.
7. Francisco Rodriguez, New York Mets
He was about the only start that didn’t get hurt last year for the Mets. I’m expecting them to be healthier, despite Beltran’s continued woes, which should lead to more save opportunities.
8. Heath Bell, San Diego Padres
Not surprisingly his ERA was over a half a run better at home. That’s what happens when you pitch in a pitcher’s park. He still managed 21 saves and a 3.08 ERA in 28 road games.
9. Brian Fuentes, Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim
He followed up K-Rod’s record-breaking season with 48 saves of his own. Now that he has a season of closing under his belt, I expect his ERA and WHIP to decrease. He’s almost a lock to be among the league leaders in saves simply by pitching in Anaheim.
10. Brian Wilson, San Francisco Giants
He’s got a good starting staff to hand him plenty of save opportunities. His strikeouts were up and his ERA down, which is ideal for a closer.
11. Rafael Soriano, Tampa Bay Rays
Soriano was second only to Broxton for strikeouts by a closer.
12. Andrew Bailey, Oakland A’s
Bailey was outstanding as a rookie year, and barring a sophomore slump should turn in another solid year. I only fear a limited amount of save opportunities in Oakland.
13. Billy Wagner, Atlanta Braves
He looked sharp last year for Boston. He should still have the tools to get it done for the Braves.
14. Huston Street, Colorado Rockies
Street brings a bunch of K’s and a low WHIP to the table.
15. Trevor Hoffman, Milwaukee Brewers
Hoffman just continues churning out solid seasons. He’s a marvel.
Also check out:
2010 Top 15 First Basemen
2010 Top 15 Second Basemen
2010 Top 15 Third Basemen
2010 Top 15 Shortstops
2010 Top 15 Catchers
2010 Top 25 Outfielders
2010 Top 11 Designated Hitters
2010 Top 25 Starting Pitchers