Kenley Jansen
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I present the Lester’s Legends 2017 fantasy baseball closer/relief pitcher rankings for NL Only fantasy leagues.
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1. Kenley Jansen, Los Angeles Dodgers
2. Wade Davis, Chicago Cubs
3. Seung-Hwan, St. Louis Cardinals
4. Mark Melancon, San Francico Giants
5. Jeurys Familia, New York Mets
6. A.J. Ramos, Miami Marlins
7. Tony Watson, Pittsburgh Pirates
8. Blake Treinen, Washington Nationals
9. Raisel Iglesias, Cincinnati Reds
10. Jim Johnson, Atlanta Braves
11. Adam Ottavino, Colorado Rockies
12. Brandon Maurer, San Diego Padres
13. Jeanmar Gomez, Philadelphia Phillies
14. Fernando Rodney, Arizona Diamondbacks
15. Neftali Feliz, Milwaukee Brewers
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Aroldis Chapman Yankees
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I present the Lester’s Legends 2017 fantasy baseball closer/relief pitcher rankings for AL Only fantasy leagues.
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1. Aroldis Chapman, New York Yankees
2. Craig Kimbrel, Boston Red Sox
3. Zach Britton, Baltimore Orioles
4. Roberto Osuna, Toronto Blue Jays
5. Edwin Diaz, Seattle Mariners
6. Kenneth Giles, Houston Astros
7. Kelvin Herrera, Kansas City Royals
8. Andrew Miller, Cleveland Indians
9. David Robertson, Chicago White Sox
10. Francisco Rodriguez, Detroit Tigers
11. Cody Allen, Cleveland Indians
12. Danny Duffy, Kansas City Royals
13. Alexander Colome, Tampa Bay Rays
14. Sam Dyson, Texas Rangers
15. Cameron Bedrosian, Los Angeles Angels
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Also check out:

Aroldis Chapman Yankees
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I present the Lester’s Legends 2017 fantasy baseball closer rankings.
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1. Aroldis Chapman, New York Yankees
2. Kenley Jansen, Los Angeles Dodgers
3. Craig Kimbrel, Boston Red Sox
4. Zach Britton, Baltimore Orioles
5. Wade Davis, Chicago Cubs
6. Seung-Hwan, St. Louis Cardinals
7. Roberto Osuna, Toronto Blue Jays
8. Mark Melancon, San Francico Giants
9. Edwin Diaz, Seattle Mariners
10. Kenneth Giles, Houston Astros
11. Kelvin Herrera, Kansas City Royals
12. Andrew Miller, Cleveland Indians
13. David Robertson, Chicago White Sox
14. Jeurys Familia, New York Mets
15. Francisco Rodriguez, Detroit Tigers
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Also check out:

Kenley Jansen
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I present the Lester’s Legends 2016 fantasy baseball NL Only closer rankings.
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1. Kenley Jansen, Los Angeles Dodgers
2. Mark Melancon, Pittsburgh Pirates
3. Trevor Rosenthal, St. Louis Cardinals
4. Jeurys Familia, New York Mets
5. Jonathan Papelbon, Washington Nationals
6. Hector Rondon, Chicago Cubs
7. Santiago Casilla, San Francisco Giants
8. A.J. Ramos, Miami Marlins
9. Brad Ziegler, Arizona Diamondbacks
10. Arodys Vizcaino, Atlanta Braves
11. Jake McGee, Colorado Rockies
12. J.J. Hoover, Cincinnati Reds
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Also check out:

Craig Kimbrel Red Sox
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I present the Lester’s Legends 2016 fantasy baseball AL Only closer rankings.
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1. Craig Kimbrel, Boston Red Sox
2. Aroldis Chapman, New York Yankees
3. Wade Davis, Kansas City Royals
4. David Robertson, Chicago White Sox
5. Kenneth Giles, Houston Astros
6. Huston Street, Los Angeles Angels
7. Cody Allen, Cleveland Indians
8. Zach Britton, Baltimore Orioles
9. Francisco Rodriguez, Detroit Tigers
10. Glen Perkins, Minnesota Twins
11. Shawn Tolleson, Texas Rangers
12. Bradley Boxberger, Tampa Bay Rays
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Also check out:

Craig Kimbrel Red Sox
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I present the Lester’s Legends 2016 fantasy baseball closer rankings.
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1. Craig Kimbrel, Boston Red Sox
2. Aroldis Chapman, New York Yankees
3. Wade Davis, Kansas City Royals
4. Kenley Jansen, Los Angeles Dodgers
5. Mark Melancon, Pittsburgh Pirates
6. Trevor Rosenthal, St. Louis Cardinals
7. Jeurys Familia, New York Mets
8. David Robertson, Chicago White Sox
9. Jonathan Papelbon, Washington Nationals
10. Kenneth Giles, Houston Astros
11. Huston Street, Los Angeles Angels
12. Cody Allen, Cleveland Indians
13. Zach Britton, Baltimore Orioles
14. Francisco Rodriguez, Detroit Tigers
15. Hector Rondon, Chicago Cubs
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Also check out:

Click here to enter the 2011 Fantasy Baseball Team Name Contest
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Here’s a look at the 2011 closer rankings.
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1.  Brian Wilson, San Francisco Giants:  Wilson led the Majors in saves (48) last year while posting a 1.81 ERA, 1.18 WHIP, and 93 Ks. He also has the market cornered on cool beards and scary eyes.
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2.  Heath Bell, San Diego Padres:  His stats read almost identical to Wilson’s. It’s really a preference thing here. I like Wilson because his starting pitching staff is better. Plus, without Adrian Gonzalez, the Padres could struggle to give him leads to protect.
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3.  Carlos Marmol, Chicago Cubs:  With 38 saves, a ridiculous 138 Ks, a 2.55 ERA, a 1.18 WHIP, and a microscopic .147 BAA, Marmol is a very valuable closer.
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4.  Jonathan Broxton, Los Angeles Dodgers:  Broxton slipped big time last year picking up only 22 saves with a 4.04 ERA, a 1.48 WHIP, and a .270 BAA. His lone bright spot was the 73 Ks in 62-2/3 innings. He was electric in 2009 with 36 saves, a 2.61 ERA, a 0.96 WHIP, a .165 BAA, and 114 Ks in 76 innings, which leads me to believe he can be a top tier closer again.
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5.  Francisco Rodriguez, New York Mets:  I’m more worried about him mentally than physically. Despite his bizarre season he had 25 saves with a 2.20 ERA, a 1.15 WHIP, a .213 BAA, and 67 Ks in 57-1/3 innings. If he can control his emotions, he’s a fine closing option once again.
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6.  Francisco Cordero, Cincinnati Reds:  He’ll give you a bunch of saves (39 & 40 in the past two years), but don’t expect a high strikeout total or low WHIP.
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7.  Huston Street, Colorado Rockies:  He can deliver when he’s healthy. He has 55 saves in the past two years for Colorado with a 3.30 ERA, a 0.97 WHIP, and 115 Ks in 109 innings.
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8.  John Axford, Milwaukee Brewers:  Axford shared closer duties with Trevor Hoffman last year and still managed 24 saves, a 2.48 ERA, a 1.19 WHIP, and 76 Ks in 58 innings. As the Rotoprofessor points out, he does have control issues, but there is enough upside to justify his ranking.
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9.  J.J. Putz, Arizona Diamondbacks:  Drafting Putz will take a little leap of faith considering he has been on three teams and compiled just 20 saves over the past three seasons, though he totaled 76 saves in 2006 & 2007 for the Mariners. You can count on a bunch of strikeouts and a potentially low WHIP.
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10.  Drew Storen, Washington Nationals:  Storen was groomed for this role and now it’s his time to deliver. He struggled after June, but has enough upside to gamble on in N.L. Only Leagues.
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Also check out:

 

Click here to enter the 2011 Fantasy Baseball Team Name Contest
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Here’s a look at the 2011 A.L. Only closer rankings.
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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.
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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.
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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.
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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.
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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.
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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.
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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.
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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.
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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.
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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.
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Also check out:

Click here to enter the 2011 Fantasy Baseball Team Name Contest
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Here’s an updated and expanded look at the 2011 closer rankings. Information about accounting degrees online is available via this resource. Some people who enjoy sports stats enjoy classes and careers that involve numbers, budgets, and finance.
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1.  Brian Wilson, San Francisco Giants:  Wilson led the Majors in saves (48) last year while posting a 1.81 ERA, 1.18 WHIP, and 93 Ks.
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2.  Heath Bell, San Diego Padres:  His stats read almost identical to Wilson’s. It’s really a preference thing here. I like Wilson because his starting pitching staff is better. Plus, without Adrian Gonzalez, the Padres could struggle to give him leads.
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3.  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.
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4.  Carlos Marmol, Chicago Cubs:  With 38 saves, a ridiculous 138 Ks, a 2.55 ERA, a 1.18 WHIP, and a microscopic .147 BAA, Marmol is a very valuable closer.
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5.  Jonathan Broxton, Los Angeles Dodgers:  Broxton slipped big time last year picking up only 22 saves with a 4.04 ERA, a 1.48 WHIP, and a .270 BAA. His lone bright spot was the 73 Ks in 62-2/3 innings. He was electric in 2009 with 36 saves, a 2.61 ERA, a 0.96 WHIP, a .165 BAA, and 114 Ks in 76 innings, which leads me to believe he can be a top five closer again.
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6.  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.
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7.  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.
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8.  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.
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9.  Francisco Rodriguez, New York Mets:  I’m more worried about him mentally than physically. Despite his bizarre season he had 25 saves with a 2.20 ERA, a 1.15 WHIP, a .213 BAA, and 67 Ks in 57-1/3 innings.
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10.  Joe Nathan, Minnesota Twins:  We know what he was before Tommy John surgery, but how will he respond at 36? Considering how dominant he was, I’d still rank him top ten.
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11.  Francisco Cordero, Cincinnati Reds:  He’ll give you a bunch of saves (39 & 40 in the past two years), but don’t expect a high strikeout total or low WHIP.
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12.  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.
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13.  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.
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14.  Huston Street, Colorado Rockies:  He can deliver when he’s healthy. He has 55 saves in the past two years for Colorado with a 3.30 ERA, a 0.97 WHIP, and 115 Ks in 109 innings.
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15.  John Axford, Milwaukee Brewers:  I originally had David Aardsma in this spot, but his hip injury is a little worrisome. Axford shared closer duties with Trevor Hoffman last year and still managed 24 saves, a 2.48 ERA, a 1.19 WHIP, and 76 Ks in 58 innings. As the Rotoprofessor points out, he does have control issues, but there is enough upside to justify a top 15 ranking.
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16.  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.
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17.  J.J. Putz, Arizona Diamondbacks:  Drafting Putz will take a little leap of faith considering he has been on three teams and compiled just 20 saves over the past three seasons, though he totaled 76 saves in 2006 & 2007 for the Mariners. You can count on a bunch of strikeouts and a potentially low WHIP.
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18.  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.
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19.  Frank Francisco, Toronto Blue Jays:  There are so many question marks on the remaining closers. However, 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.
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20.  Drew Storen, Washington Nationals:  Storen was groomed for this role and now it’s his time to deliver. He struggled after June, but has enough upside to gamble on later in the draft.
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Also check out:

Joe Nathan had to go and get hurt on us so here’s another look at the closer rankings.

1.  Jonathan Broxton, Los Angeles Dodgers
Others prefer Mariano Rivera, but Broxton’s strikeout totals put him as the top of my chart.

2.  Mariano Rivera, New York Yankees
At some point he’ll slow down. At least I think he will. Until I see it though, I won’t believe it

3.  Jonathan Papelbon, Boston Red Sox
Papelbon anchors one of the best bullpens in baseball. He should get plenty of opportunities to close out ballgames.

4.  Joakim Soria, Kansas City Royals
Soria could lead the league in the highest percentage of saves in relation to team wins. He also sports low a ERA and WHIP with a high strikeout total.

5.  Heath Bell, San Diego Padres
The Twins have some interest in Bell. If he stays with San Diego or goes to Minnesota, he’ll be in line for another spectacular season.

6.  Jose Valverde, Detroit Tigers
The Tigers should be improved in 2010, thanks in part to Valverde.

7.  Andrew Bailey, Oakland A’s
Previously I had him lower on the list, but his high strikeout totals and low peripherals should make him one of the best closers once again.

8.  Francisco Rodgriguez, New York Mets
I’m a little afraid that the Mets are cursed, though he did manage to put together a solid season last year despite the injuries.

9.  Brian Wilson, San Francisco Giants
The Giants have the pitching to keep the scores down with an offense that’s not going to run over many teams. Wilson is in great shape to put up another fine season.

10.  Brian Fuentes, Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim
If he stumbles Fernando Rodney could get a look, but Anaheim’s style is very conducive to racking up huge save totals.

11.  Rafael Soriano, Tampa Bay Rays
I’d rank him higher if he played in a different a different division. That said, he’s still a quality option thanks to his large strikeout totals.

12.  Huston Street, Colorado Rockies
As long as the second-half Rockies show up, Street be a solid #1 fantasy closer.

13.  Francisco Cordero, Cincinnati Reds
Cordero has become one of the best at closing out a game. His ballpark and less than spectacular strikeout totals keep him from climbing higher.

14.  Billy Wagner, Atlanta Braves
The jury is out whether or not he can do it for a full year again. I in the camp that says he can…at a very high level.

15.  Trevor Hoffman, Milwaukee Brewers
At 42 I can’t count on him as a #1 option, but his solid save totals and low WHIP make him a good #2.

16.   Frank Francisco, Texas Rangers
C.J. Wilson did well when filling in for Francisco last year. That concern puts him in the middle of the pack.

17.  Ryan Franklin, St. Louis Cardinals
He was amazing in the first half last year. I think he steps back, but remains a solid #2.

18.  Chad Qualls, Arizona Diamondbacks
The Diamondbacks pitching staff could prove to be one of the best in the league meaning Qualls has a chance to move even higher up the list.

19.  David Aardsma, Seattle Mariners
I’m a little worried that last year was a fluke, but with one of the best pitching duos handing him their leads, I think he’ll be solid.

20.  Octavio Dotel, Pittsburgh Pirates
I’m not sure he reaches the 30 save mark, but he could be among the leaders in strikeouts among closers.

 

Click to see the rest of the 2010 fantasy baseball rankings.


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