Analyzing the Jefe’s work in the top-500 and finding things you disagree with is difficult business. Not many come at the king, unless summoned to do so, and survive the fall. I almost feel like some kind of twilight zone GOT episode where instead of medieval type barbs, we argue over swinging strike percentage and spin rate. Loser walks down Second Avenue to get the freshest matzo ball soup. No matter, here I sit looking over Razzball Top-500 for 2018 to see where rankings may be off for the good and the bad. For other positions it may be an easier exercise, as the rule of thumb with relievers and closers is SAGNOF and Grey’s rankings show that his approach to that acronym hold true. Drafting closers to me is always a value-type drafting situation. Don’t be last, but don’t be first scenario. Unless the value is too deeming and obvious that when it’s time to jump, you ask how high. The second rule of the reliever fight club is don’t get sucked into a run on closers. Wait your turn and get value at other positions and than if you get stuck, SAGNOF is always in your back pocket. Every year the closer market is a fluctuating beast that tempts you with fruit and flowers to jump on the next hot waiver wire add. So be patient in your closer endeavors and the stat will run its course as long as you stay proactive on the free agent market. So here is my stab at the King and who is underrated and overrated in his eyes.
Kenley Jansen – If you can draft Kenley at Grey’s 66th overall rank, you damn well better do it. His current ADP is in the top-40. He has finished ninth overall in some site that won’t be named player rater last year. Now that we are on the Trax this year, I wonder how his rating will go? If you read the intro, you don’t wanna be first especially with closers of Kenley’s magnitude. You can find try to find similarity three-round slater, but there is only one “goods”.
Roberto Osuna – In my own Top-50 Relievers Rankings, I said that he would be the first closer I would target based on merit and value. Ranked 104 by Grey and ADP of 77 in NFBC. Sported a stunning 9.22 K/BB rate last year that only trailed Sir Kenley. Alson finished top 10 in K/9 rate for closers with 11.67. He basically checks all the closer boxes, K’s, limits walks, limits home runs and limits wOBA.
Blake Treinen – Getting a little bit excited by the news that he was named the closer on the first day of Spring. It was a no-brainer anyways, and I think he stock will continue to rise in front of a very sleepy good bullpen that was second in wOBA for a bullpen last year. Trailing only the Yankees. Started the year as the Nationals closer getting 3 saves, than cast aside from the closer role and eventually traded to Oakland. He went almost 90 games, 40 appearances before getting his first save for the A’s. Ended the year strong with a K/9 over 10 in the last 28 games pitched and 13 saves in 14 chances. Ranked 272 and an ADP of 194, he is being drafted as the 25th closer off the board and in the vicinity of Fernando Rodney.
Andrew Miller – Top 120 player that doesn’t get a counting stat in saves, barely knocks on the door in wins. Yea the ratios are nice but K-rate was down slightly from 14.89 per 9 to 13.4 per 9, and walk rate was up last year. I know I am needling just to needle sake but I picked on the top closer so why not pick on the top set-up option in mixed leagues. If you own Cody Allen than feel nervous that Miller is floating around, but if you draft Osuna first Allen is someone else’s problem.
Seung-Hwan Oh – Tale of two Oh’s. The first was a great 2016 version. The second was a 35-year-old former version of himself. Velocity down, location a mess and basically was a buffet for left handed hitters to feast off of. I get that Claudio doesn’t have the lite arsenal and is better suited for set-up, but low K-rate LH pitchers have had success, Zach Britton. The Rangers closing situation is blah squared with too many names involved. I am drafting none of the Kela, Claudio or Oh (269 Grey) crowd and grabbing Diekman at his last round value.
Brandon Morrow – Wear and tear is a tough beast. It ruins starting pitchers the following year after a deep playoff run so why not a reliever. The Cubs bullpen has several quality arms, just no one I trust to watch my baby saves. Morrow may have been signed to be the closer but I think he arguably the second best option there in terms of stuff and save potential behind Carl’s Jr. Not really a looker at Morrow at his rank of 203 for Grey or 210 in NFBC. At 200 in the draft my team will or should have two more reliable closers. As it sits right now, there are three teams I am avoiding and skipping over on draft day for closers, Cubs, Orioles and Rangers. Think about it would you rather own basically for free Edwards, Givens or Diekman or pay up for maybe closers.