Fantasy Baseball: 2011 A.L. Only Top 10 Closer Rankings

Mar 13, 2011

Click here to enter the 2011 Fantasy Baseball Team Name Contest
.

.
Here’s a look at the 2011 A.L. Only closer rankings.
.
1.  Joakim Soria, Kansas City Royals:  In the last three years Soria has 115 saves, a 1.84 ERA, and a 1.01 WHIP. He also has 210 Ks in 186 innings. Will there be enough leads to protect? That’s the big question.Neftali Feliz, Texas Rangers:  His stuff is filthy. He has a 0.82 WHIP and a .160 BAA in 100-1/3 innings. The Rangers are toying with the idea of using him as a starter, which would obviously change his value. That said, he’s desirable either way. If you are in a league that uses SP and RP and he’s a starter, you basically get an extra starter in your weekly lineup. If he hangs onto the closer gig, he’s the best in the American League.
.
2.  Neftali Feliz, Texas Rangers:  It’s not that I think he’s any less filthy, but it’s looking like he may give starting a go. He’s still valuable, but you would obviously lose the main category you draft a closer for.
.
3.  Jonathan Papelbon, Boston Red Sox:  Papelbon wasn’t nearly as nasty last year posting a 3.90 ERA, a 1.27 WHIP, and a .226 BAA. He still managed 37 saves last year. He’s averaged 37.6 saves over the past five years with 77.6 Ks, a 2.18 ERA and a 0.99 WHIP.
.
4.  Mariano Rivera, New York Yankees:  It’s not that I think Mo is slipping, but the addition of Rafael Soriano suggests that he will have a lighter load this year. Let’s face it, the Yankees season doesn’t start until the playoffs begin.  If a game was on the line, Mo would be my guy. For a fantasy team, he’s just top five in A.L. Only leagues for me.
.
5.  Joe Nathan, Minnesota Twins:  We know what he was before Tommy John surgery, but how will he respond at 36? The closer gig isn’t a guarantee right away either. There are questions, but he has the goods if he’s healthy.
.
6.  Jose Valverde, Detroit Tigers:  His save total (26) wasn’t great and his ERA (3.00) wasn’t spectacular, but he had a solid 1.16 WHIP and an excellent .184 BAA. He also had 63 Ks in 63 innings. He’s a solid A.L. Only closer.
.
7.  Andrew Bailey, Oakland Athletics:  Bailey is going to see Dr. James Andrews, which is usually not a good sign. He’s too big of a risk to be a #1 fantasy closer.
.
8.  Chris Perez, Cleveland Indians:  Perez posted a 1.71 ERA, a 1.08 WHIP, and 61 strikeout in 63 innings last year. Even if he regresses, he should be one of the top strikeout closers in the American League.
.
9.  Kevin Gregg, Baltimore Orioles:  Mike Gonzalez is there if Gregg messes up, but he should be a good source for saves and strikeouts. He nailed down 37 wins last year for the Blue Jays.
.
10.  Frank Francisco, Toronto Blue Jays:  There are so many question marks on the remaining closers, that it gets pretty dicey after the seventh or eighth closer has come off the board. Francisco picks up a ton of strikeouts and has shown he can post a low WHIP. He’s never topped 25 saves, but that could change this year.
.
.

Also check out:

. .

No Responses so far | Have Your Say!

Leave a Comment


Partner of USA TODAY Sports Digital Properties