We’ve covered the top twenty draft lists for catchers, 1st basemen, 2nd basemen, shortstops, 3rd basemen, outfielders and starting pitchers for ’08. Finally, the top twenty closers 2008. I can’t stress this enough, don’t take any closer before the 7th round. Saves are a category, so you should draft at least three closers, but they don’t pitch enough innings to make a solid dent in your pitching ratios. The good ones give a nice push to the stats outside of saves. Like J.J. Putz, for instance. But he was drafted in the 7th round last year according to the ESPN average, so you see they’re unpredictable, as well. Don’t go drafting him in the fourth round this year. It ain’t worth it. For some prospective, take a look at our ’07 player rater.

1. Jonathan Papelbon – He’s unhittable and on a 95 win team. That, my friends, is a recipe for a stud closer. Odd, since his dancing is very unstudlike. If he saved 55 games with 100 Ks and a .90 ERA in 60 innings, it wouldn’t surprise me. Projections: 5-0/90/1.10/.75/45 saves

2. Joe Nathan – Phenomenal peripheral stats, year in and year out. He can fluctuate from 35 saves to 50 saves in any given year, depending on chances. He’s starting to get up there in age (33), but he doesn’t seem to be slowing just yet. Projections: 6-1/80/1.90/1.00/40 saves

3. J.J. Putz – He can strikeout any hitter at any given time, which makes things easier for a closer. (I’m talking to you, Todd Jones.) He’s not prone to injury and his team will probably be in a lot of close games. Very solid number #1 closer for any fantasy team. Projections: 4-2/80/2.00/.90/40 saves

4. Francisco Rodriguez – K-Rod’s pitching motion scares the bejeezus out of me, but he still puts up sick stats every year. Sick meaning well, not sick meaning sick. Projections: 6-2/90/3.00/1.25/45 saves

5. Mariano Rivera – Until he can’t close, he’s going to be on the list. Look at Hoffman, he’s still doing it. Projections: 5-2/70/2.75/1.10/40 saves

6. Francisco Cordero – To be honest, I don’t trust him. His time closing for the Brew Crew was solid, but I can’t help shaking that year in Texas when he lost the job. Although, that was a hitter’s park. Wait, so is Cincinnati. Projections: 2-5/65/3.50/1.20/35 saves and the Reds fans call for Bill Bray to take over by June.

7. Trevor Hoffman – His entrance music “Hells Bells” was released two years before Adrian Gonzalez was born. Hoff’s old. No doubt, but as long as he keeps doing the same thing every year, kind of hard to find fault. Projections: 3-2/40/3.50/1.15/40 saves

8. Takashi Saito – He’s 38 years old for the ’08 season, but his ‘07 season was proof American hitters still haven’t figured him out. I’m pretty confident Torre will stay with the elder, but for fear of Broxton, I won’t be drafting Saito. Then again, I’ve also feared Shields for the last three years and not drafted K-Rod. I’m an idiot. Projections: 4-1/75/1.75/.90/40 saves

9. Bobby Jenks – Raise your hand if you saw his last season coming. Okay, now lower your hand if you’re lying. Okay, now lower your hand, if you’re still lying. Projections: 5-2/65/3.00/1.00/40 saves

10. Brad Lidge – The park could send Lidge into fits if he gives up too many long balls, but, I have to say, his stock is so low, I’m buying. He strikes out hitters by the boatloads and he’s another year removed from the Poo-holes ass-reaming. Projections: 3-3/90/3.25/1.20/40 saves

11. Billy Wagner – Ok, I know what you’re thinking and it’s true. His collapse towards the end of last year has me very nervous. I’m going to pass on Wagner this year, but he could be better than fine. You’ve been warned. Projections: 2-3/70/3.75/1.35/25 saves and Heilman takes over in August and gets 15 saves.

12. Joe Borowski – He’s on a great team for saves and…. Um…. I can’t think of anything else positive. Here’s hoping Betancourt hurts himself playing Guitar Hero. Projections: 2-5/50/4.25/1.35/35 saves

13. Todd Jones – He had more saves than strikeouts last year. Seriously. Yet, I’ll still probably draft him. You want saves and he looks like the man for a team that could win 90 games. Though watch Rodney in the rearview. Projections: 4-4/30/4.50/1.30/35 saves

14. Jose Valverde – Last year, after he started off good, I anticipated a collapse and traded him away. He got better. So, what now? I still don’t trust him. I might draft him, but I doubt I keep him the whole year. He loses his shit and, before you know it, he’s given up five runs in a third of an inning. Projections: 2-6/65/4.00/1.25/30 saves and loses the closing job three times in ’08.

15. Chad Cordero – Is it me or does he simultaneously look like he’s twelve years old and a child molester? Might be the low-hat-wearing-brim-thing. Anyway, the team sucks, so saves may not be plentiful and talk of a trade will invariably happen in July, but he’s solid for what he is. Projections: 2-3/60/3.50/1.35/30 saves

16. Jason Isringhausen – IS-ring-how-zin instills no confidence in me, but he’ll probably end up on a few of my teams because he doesn’t instill confidence in anyone, except his manager. In other words, he’ll be cheap at drafts and get the saves. Projections: 2-4/50/3.75/1.15/30 saves

17. Matt Capps – Got the kind of stuff that could propel him into the top ten closers for ’09. He’s not going to get many opportunities, but hopefully with Tracy out he’ll get the ball and hold onto it. Projections: 2-5/75/2.25/1.00/25 saves

18. Manny Corpas – Not thrilled about the fact that Fuentes is still there. I feel like the slightest hiccup and Corpas will be looking over his shoulder. Projections: 3-3/70/2.50/1.15/25 saves and Fuentes picks up 15 saves.

19. Brian Wilson – The genius behind Pet Sounds! Oh, no, wait a minute. Bochy has stated that Wilson will be the Giants closer, which means he’ll have nothing to close, because they’ll suck this year. When he pitches, he can be lights out. Hopefully, he doesn’t come into too many games to ‘just get work.’ Projections: 2-6/65/2.50/1.05/20 saves

20. Carlos Marmol – Or I could have just said, whoever the hell is closing for the Cubs in 2008. Kerry Wood, Howry, Marmol… They have to decide on someone (at least I hope they do) and whoever gets the ball in the ninth will get lots of opportunities. This is something that needs to be watched in spring training. 2008 Cubs Closer Projections: Nice stats/boatload of saves

After the top twenty there are lots of options, obviously, but one that really stands out:

Rafael Soriano – His stuff is overpowering. Absolutely filthy and he’s got the Braves job all to himself this year. He’ll probably be in the top ten next year when the rankings come out. Projections: 3-4/85/1.25/1.00/35 saves

One name I don’t want any part of:

Huston Street – Injuries and lack of offense for the A’s have me pretty down on Street. If he gets traded to the Braves, I’ll be disappointed to say the least. Maybe Rafael Soriano slept with Bobby Cox’s wife.

Once Spring Training gets underway, we’ll break down what every team is going to do for a closer.

  1. Who We Are says:

    He just had TJ surgery. He would not be in my top 20. But I’ll cover him during spring training once he’s throwing from 60 feet. Right now he’s only throwing from 40.

  2. Anonymous says:

    I not really a baseball fan, but your site is starting to make me one. :D

  3. Gary R. H. says:

    Soria is going to surprise a lot of people. He was overlooked last year as a rookie when he struck out 75 in 69ip and had just a 2.48ERA and 17 saves with a .942 WHIP.

    And he still isn’t mentioned on your top 20… tisk tsk.

  4. Who We Are says:

    When push comes to shove, closers are about gettign saves for your team. Dotel and Soria combined for 28 saves last year. Brian Wilson is about the only one on the list I could see getting less than 28 saves, but Wilson’s in the NL and Soria is in the AL, so Wilson still gets the nod, IMO.

  5. lankapo says:

    hey there,
    last time i play baseball was during my high school, and I really suck at it.
    baseball in malaysia is not that popular like in Japan or Philipine for Asia region

    I do enjoy your company/click at my blog hehe

  6. Bendever Gerona says:

    I guss i’ll try fantasy baseball now.. hihih

  7. Bob Taylor says:

    As a Bucco fan, I’m hoping for the best regarding Capps, by, my lord, is it scary when he’s serving up letter-high fastballs on every single pitch.

  8. Bob Taylor says:

    Uh, yeah — that might have made more sense if it would have read “but, my lord, is it scary …” as intended. Stupid fingers getting in the way of stupid brain.

  9. Who We Are says:

    I think Capps can post a 4.50 ERA and keep the job. There’s no one there to take over and they have to let the kid take his medicine if he’s ever going to be good. But they (the Pirates) still might not get many opportunities for saves. I like him better than Soria.

  10. mike says:

    what happened to isringhausen? why was anthony reyes closing for cards today?

  11. Izzy pitched two days in a row. Needed a break.

    What’s scarier is that La Russa brought in Reyes. Ugh. Almost blew the win for Wainwright whom I have in two leagues…

  12. mike says:

    matt capps, more saves than george sherill?

  13. Grey

    Grey says:

    Without a doubt, definitely.

  14. mike says:

    I read that Rafael Soriano might have to sit with shoulder soreness…..who gets the closer gig till hes ok?

  15. mike says:

    now Moylan’s on the DL. Acosta next in line?

  16. Grey

    Grey says:


Comments are closed.