It’s been a long, tough winter (especially for those of you who live in the Northeast), but the wait is almost over. Spring training is in full swing and the regular season is just around the corner. That means, of course, that fantasy baseball draft season is here.

Recently, we’ve attempted to identify the next Corey Kluber and looked at some hitters who displayed above average power and plate discipline over the past couple of seasons. Today, we’re going to focus on relief pitchers. If you’re looking for the latest closer rankings as well as the top handcuff and hold options, check out the Bullpen Report, which provides excellent RP analysis each and every week.

This post will attempt to identify relievers with a very specific profile: power arms with high K-rates. Players who throw hard and miss bats. It’s that simple. Well, mostly. Let’s take a look at the search filters that I used for this exercise:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

We are going to take a break from the closenado news to bring the middle-reliever news and updates for those of you that are in Holds and NSVH leagues. While it’s not as sexy as the closer news that you usually expect, it is still fundamental in forming a well-balanced pitching staff. It has been a bizarre season, as far as Holds go, and no one person is showing their stoutness and running away with being “that guy”.  The usual candidates are lying in the weeds [Ed. Note– you haven’t smoked it all?] waiting to jump out and show you how to make balloon animals. So here are some snippets that I’ve noticed so far this year, though the season is still short ‘n sweet. There’s a long ways to go my friends. So be patient when it comes to the dudes who pitch after the dudes, but before the dudes that really matter.

Please, blog, may I have some more?

If I am correct on my predictions, the NL pennant race will be a fun one.  I see three teams with playoff potential, and a fourth that is just shy of it.  Sorry San Diego fans, this isn’t your year. [Ed. Note — JERK!]  Good news though, the Chinese calendar says it is going to be the year of the Tony Gwynn soon. [Ed. Note — I take it back. Sorta.] (You can check out the AL West Spring Training Preview here, the AL Central Spring Training Preview here and the NL East Spring Training Preview here.)

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Organizational Talent Rankings via Baseball America
2012 (23) | 2011 (12) | 2010 (21) | 2009 (23) | 2008 (6)

2012 Affiliate Records
MLB: [86-76] NL West
AAA: [80-64] Pacific Coast League – Albuquerque
AA: [73-65] Southern League – Chattanooga
A+: [68-72] California League – Rancho Cucamonga
A: [67-73] Midwest League – Great Lakes

Arizona Fall League PlayersMesa Solar Sox
Eric Eadington (LHP); Onelki Garcia (LHP); Red Patterson (RHP); Chris Reed (LHP); Andres Santiago (RHP); Gorman Erickson (C)

Graduated Prospects of Note
Nathan Eovaldi (RHP); Shawn Tolleson (RHP); Josh Lindblom (RHP)

The Run Down
The Dodgers entered the 2012 season with a deep farm system, flush with solid pitching prospects.  Please, blog, may I have some more?

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Los Angeles Dodgers 2010 Minor League Review
Overall farm ranking via Baseball America (2009)
2010 (24) | 2009 (23) | 2008 (6) | 2007 (6) | 2006 (2) | 2005 (2) | 2004 (2)

Record of Major and Minor League Teams
MLB: [80 – 82] NL West
AAA: [72 – 71] Pacific Coast League – Albuquerque
AA: [ 65 – 74] Southern League – Chattanooga
A+: [50 – 90] California League – Inland Empire
A: [90 – 49] Midwest League – Great Lakes
R: [44 – 31] Pioneer League – Odgen
R: [30 – 25] Arizona League

The Run Down
Quite a disappointing season for Dodger fans, and that’s without introducing the McCourt’s divorce into the picture. Please, blog, may I have some more?

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Los Angeles Dodgers 2009 Minor League Review
Overall farm ranking via Baseball America (2009)
2009 (23) | 2008 (6) | 2007 (6) | 2006 (2) | 2005 (2) | 2004 (2)

Record of Major and Minor League Teams
MLB: [95 – 67] NL West – best record in NL
AAA: [80 – 64] Pacific Coast League
AA: [ 65 – 74] Southern League
A+: [59 – 81] California League
A: [81 – 59] Midwest League
R: [24 – 32] Arizona League
R: [42 – 34] Pioneer League

The Run Down

After several years in the top 10, the Dodgers farm ranking fell significantly due to several trades (Manny Ramirez, Ronnie Belliard) and a significant lack of a promising young prospect. Please, blog, may I have some more?

Please, blog, may I have some more?