Here’s the 2013 LestersLegends Closer Rankings for NL-Only Leagues.
1. Craig Kimbrel, Atlanta Braves
Kimbrel is ridiculous. In 2011 he recorded 46 saves with a 2.10 ERA, a 1.04 WHIP and 127 strikeouts. His saves (42) and strikeouts (116) dipped, but his ERA (1.01) and WHIP (0.65) were off-the-charts good. He’s the best closer in baseball. Period.
2. Aroldis Chapman, Cincinnati Reds
Chapman could be the filthiest pitcher in baseball. He’s certainly in the discussion. He picked up 38 saves and 122 strikeouts while posting a 1.51 ERA and a 0.81 WHIP. He could end up in the rotation, but no matter his role, he will be a force.
3. Jason Motte, St. Louis Cardinals
Motte nailed down 42 saves as well while striking out 86 batters. His 2.75 ERA and 0.92 WHIP put him right up with Kimbrel and Chapman. He’s the best of tier two in my book.
4. Jonathan Papelbon, Philadelphia Phillies
Papelbon got back on track last year with 38 saves, 92 strikeouts, a 2.44 ERA and a 1.06 WHIP.
5. Sergio Romo, San Francisco Giants
Romo recorded 14 saves with 63 strikeouts, a 1.79 ERA and a 0.85 WHIP. He was nearly untouchable during the postseason with a 0.84 ERA and a 0.47 WHIP.
6. Rafael Soriano, Washington Nationals
The Nationals have great young pitching so the save opportunities should be there for Soriano. He had 42 saves, 69 strikeouts, a 2.26 ERA and a 1.17 WHIP.
7. J.J. Putz, Arizona Diamondbacks
Putz has 77 saves over the past two seasons while sporting a 2.48 ERA and a 0.97 WHIP. He’s a little bit of a slow starter, as evidenced by his 3.73 ERA first half ERA over the past two years. He’s been untouchable after the break, posting a 0.91 mark.
8. Huston Street, San Diego Padres
Street can flat out get the job done. He has a career 1.04 WHIP and a 9.2 K/9 ratio. He was great for San Diego last year, posting a 1.85 ERA and a 0.72 WHIP. So why isn’t he a top five closer? The simple answer is durability. He seems to get hurt every year.
9. John Axford, Milwaukee Brewers
Axford has 81 saves over the past two seasons, but he struggled with his control last year, leading to a 4.67 ERA and a 1.44 WHIP. He averages 11.39 strikeouts per nine innings (K/9) to offset some of the damage he does to your WHIP category.
10. Jason Grilli, Pittsburgh Pirates
Grilli only has five career saves and he’s 36, but he had 90 strikeouts in 58-2/3 innings last yer. Plus, he posted a 2.91 ERA and a 1.14 WHIP.
As you prepare for your fantasy baseball drafts, check out:
- 2013 Fantasy Baseball Closer Rankings
- 2013 Fantasy Baseball Additional Closer Options
- 2013 Fantasy Baseball First Base Rankings
- 2013 Fantasy Baseball Second Base Rankings
- 2013 Fantasy Baseball Third Base Rankings
- 2013 Fantasy Baseball Shortstop Rankings
- 2013 Fantasy Baseball Catcher Rankings
- 2013 Fantasy Baseball Outfielder Rankings
- 2013 Fantasy Baseball Designated Hitter Rankings
- 2013 Fantasy Baseball Starting Pitcher Rankings