Pre-Draft Player Rankings

54 Aroldis Chapman (Cin - RP)
Healthy
ADP: 50.1
CHG: 0.0
Depth: CL-1
W L SV IP K ERA WHIP
2014 Season 0 3 36 54.0 106 2.00 0.83
2015 Projections 4 2 22 41.0 70 1.90 0.90
3 Year Average 3 4 37 63.0 113 2.00 0.89
Outlook: Somehow Chapman found a way to be more dominant in 2014 than he had ever been before. He struck out a record 52.4% of the batters he faced, averaging 100.3 mph on his fastball, a full 2.0 mph faster than in 2013. He did all of that despite the scary spring training head injury that forced him to miss the first five weeks of the season. If Chapman has a weakness, it's his command -- he walked 12.0% of the batters he faced. Chapman is still evolving as a pitcher, too. He added a changeup (throwing it 6.7% of the time) and threw his slider more often (24.5%, as opposed 14.6 in 2013). The only question is how early do you want to take the plunge, and if you do get him, how do you support him with other pitchers?
64 Craig Kimbrel (SD - RP)
Healthy
ADP: 55.8
CHG: 0.0
Depth: CL-1
W L SV IP K ERA WHIP
2014 Season 0 3 47 61.7 95 1.61 0.91
2015 Projections 6 3 34 63.0 98 1.72 0.84
3 Year Average 2 2 46 63.7 103 1.27 0.82
Outlook: At this point, Kimbrel's reputation as the most dominant end-gamer in baseball is well established. While his ERA jumped by 40 points in 2014, his FIP actually dropped by 10 points (from 1.93 to 1.83), and his strikeout, contact and swinging-strike rates all improved. He did take a step back with his control, posting a 10.7% walk rate, up from 7.8% a year before, but the right-hander averaged better than 97 mph on his fastball (a career high) and notched an NL-leading 47 saves, marking the fourth straight season in which he's led the league in that statistic. Right-handers had a bit more success against Kimbrel, but they still managed just a .436 OPS against him, and Kimbrel was equally dominant against lefties, improving his OPS against southpaws by nearly 150 points (from .574 to .425). The workload is starting to add up, and he could see fewer save opportunities in 2015 on a regressing Braves team, but he hasn't shown any real signs of slowing down to this point and is thus still the safest relief option on the board.
76 Greg Holland (KC - RP)
DTD
ADP: 68.1
CHG: 0.0
Depth: CL-1
W L SV IP K ERA WHIP
2014 Season 1 3 46 62.3 90 1.44 0.91
2015 Projections 6 3 39 67.0 100 2.18 1.04
3 Year Average 3 3 36 65.3 95 1.93 1.06
Outlook: Holland was one of the elite fantasy baseball closers for the second season in a row, as the right-hander collected 46 saves in 2014, which was second to only Fernando Rodney's mark of 48 in the American League. He also provided support in other categories, striking out 90 batters to go along with a 1.44 ERA and 0.91 WHIP. Even though the Royals have several options in their bullpen that would make exceptional closers, Holland is their guy, and there's little reason to think otherwise heading into 2015. He's still on the better side of 30 years old, and his 2014 average fastball velocity of 95.8 mph was an exact match with his career average. Holland also possesses a devastating slider that he deploys frequently, and although he used a split-fingered fastball on just 2.3% of his pitches last season, it remains a weapon in his arsenal that can catch hitters off guard. He's one of the safest ninth-inning options in AL-only formats, and is arguably a top-five closer in mixed leagues.
80 David Robertson (CWS - RP)
Healthy
ADP: 78.9
CHG: 0.0
Depth: CL-1
W L SV IP K ERA WHIP
2014 Season 4 5 39 64.3 96 3.08 1.06
2015 Projections 6 3 37 66.0 93 2.40 1.03
3 Year Average 4 4 15 63.7 85 2.54 1.08
Outlook: Replacing Mariano Rivera was supposed to be an impossible task and Robertson wasn't exactly a carbon copy of his predecessor, but he took the baton smoothly and had it not been for two disastrous outings, he would've put up a more Rivera-like season. He allowed eight runs (36% of his season total) in the two outings, totaling just an inning, which sent his ERA from 1.99 to the 3.08 mark we saw at season's end. He recaptured the super-elite strikeout rate from 2011 after two years of decline with another 37 percent rate. In the era of every other reliever popping triple digits on the gun, Robertson survives with a 91-93 mph cutter and a low-80s curveball. He only needed one season to establish himself as one of the best closers in baseball and with his ability to pump 95-100 strikeouts in a season, he should remain one of the top closers after signing a four-year, $40 contract with the White Sox.
102 Alex Wood (LAD - SP, RP)
Healthy
ADP: 102.8
CHG: 0.0
Depth: SP-5
W L SV IP K ERA WHIP
2014 Season 11 11 0 171.7 170 2.78 1.14
2015 Projections 11 10 0 179.0 170 3.80 1.27
3 Year Average 7 7 0 124.7 124 2.89 1.20
Outlook: Gavin Floyd's return in early May afforded the Braves the option of moving Wood to the bullpen, and they took advantage, seeing it as a perfect opportunity to manage the lefty's innings. Following a brief assignment to the minors to get stretched out, Wood returned to the rotation June 25 and went on to post a 2.20 ERA and .227 BAA in 13 second-half starts. He cut down on his walks while maintaining a strikeout rate of 8.9 K/9 and lowered his ERA by more than 30 points despite his HR/FB nearly doubling (from 5.1% to 10.0%). Wood used his plus curveball far more often to great results and mixed in his changeup effectively, with his stuff proving equally difficult on lefties (.667 OPS) and righties (.645), providing hope that he can sustain a good deal of success at the major league level despite a fastball that averages under 90 mph. Along with Julio Teheran, Wood will form one of the youngest 1-2 punches in the league, but any innings restrictions will likely lifted and he already has an impressive major-league track record for a 24-year-old.
110 Trevor Rosenthal (StL - RP)
Healthy
ADP: 95.6
CHG: 0.0
Depth: CL-1
W L SV IP K ERA WHIP
2014 Season 2 6 45 70.3 87 3.20 1.41
2015 Projections 3 3 24 54.0 73 2.99 1.17
3 Year Average 1 4 16 56.0 73 2.89 1.21
Outlook: While it wasn't without its bumps, Rosenthal's 2014 season was still pretty impressive for a first-time closer. He finished fourth in baseball with 45 saves and seventh among regular closers with 87 strikeouts. What has to be encouraging for his owners and the Cardinals is that despite having some occasional dust-ups, Rosenthal never lost all control as so many new closers do. The few bad runs he had last season were just long enough to get some whispers about a possible change but short enough that a change was never necessary. His 1.41 WHIP reflects some of those bad runs, as he did have some trouble with the free passes in 2014, something he'll have to work on moving forward. Rosenthal still proved capable of handling the role and should only get better in 2015. With the Cardinals expected to again be one of the top teams in the NL, Rosenthal should have no problem eclipsing 40 saves if he stays healthy, and could very easily join the ranks of Craig Kimbrel and Kenley Jansen if he can turn some of those walks into strikeouts.
113 Mark Melancon (Pit - RP)
Healthy
ADP: 105.5
CHG: 0.0
Depth: CL-1
W L SV IP K ERA WHIP
2014 Season 3 5 33 71.0 71 1.90 0.87
2015 Projections 6 3 14 62.0 57 2.29 0.97
3 Year Average 2 3 17 62.3 61 2.74 0.99
Outlook: Melancon finally took over for an ineffective Jason Grilli as Pittsburgh's closer in early May and never looked back. Armed with a cutter learned from former teammate, Mariano Rivera, the 28-year-old right-hander converted 33 of 37 save opportunities and added 14 holds. The Pirates seem to like Melancon more as a setup man but really have no one better to close out games. He allowed 51 hits in 71 innings and fashioned an impressive 71:11 K:BB ratio, compiling a 1.90 ERA and career-low 0.87 WHIP. He remains ahead of lefty Tony Watson in the bullpen pecking order and the team is still finding out how to use newcomer John Holdzkom, making it likely Melancon closes again for Pittsburgh in 2015.
125 Fernando Rodney (ChC - RP)
Healthy
ADP: 113.5
CHG: 0.0
Depth: --
W L SV IP K ERA WHIP
2014 Season 1 6 48 66.3 76 2.85 1.34
2015 Projections 4 3 28 60.0 68 2.84 1.18
3 Year Average 3 4 44 69.3 78 2.21 1.13
Outlook: Rodney led baseball in saves last year with a franchise-record 48 in his first season in Seattle – and ranked 16th in ERA and 26th in WHIP among closers (min. 20 save chances). Despite putting a runner on in 34 of his 51 save opportunities, Rodney blew only three saves. Behold the "Fernando Rodney Experience," as it was dubbed in Seattle. The rollercoaster never stops, but only rarely does it crash. Rodney's mid-90s fastball and nasty changeup can dominate batters, but aside from his historic 2012 season, he has always battled control problems. It's easy to overlook that when he's racking up saves, but even if the rollercoaster stays on the tracks this season, he's unlikely to duplicate his 2014. Fifty save chances are rare, and if the Mariners' offense improves, there could be fewer close games. Rodney is also 38 this year.
133 Sean Doolittle (Oak - RP)
Healthy
ADP: 120.1
CHG: 0.0
Depth: MR-4
W L SV IP K ERA WHIP
2014 Season 2 4 22 62.7 89 2.73 0.73
2015 Projections 5 2 34 59.0 69 1.99 0.90
3 Year Average 3 3 8 59.7 70 3.02 0.92
Outlook: After Jim Johnson imploded in the closer role, Doolittle finally took the reins and was exceptional, racking up 22 saves even though he didn't get the job until mid-May. He also lost time to a DL stint, missing three weeks late in the season. Once he was the closer, aside from a hiccup in late June where he had back-to-back blown saves, he had only one blown save. The most amazing aspect of Doolittle's season has to be the ridiculous 89:9 K:BB ratio he finished the season with. He will miss the start of the year with a slight rotator cuff tear, opening the door for Tyler Clippard to slot in as the A's closer. However, with a career ERA under 3.00 and career 10.5 K/9 (even higher in 2014 at 12.8 K/9), there little reason why he can't reclaim the job and once again flourish in the ninth-inning role.
135 Steve Cishek (StL - RP)
Healthy
ADP: 119.6
CHG: 0.0
Depth: MR-5
W L SV IP K ERA WHIP
2014 Season 4 5 39 65.3 84 3.17 1.21
2015 Projections 4 4 33 66.0 78 2.80 1.17
3 Year Average 4 4 29 66.3 75 2.71 1.19
Outlook: How does one of the most consistent relief pitchers in the league top his first full season as closer in which he converted 34-of-36 saves with a 2.33 ERA and 1.08 WHIP? By improving his strikeout rate during a stellar 2014 campaign. Cishek broke out in a big way in 2013, and continued to provide rock solid numbers in the back of the Marlins' bullpen -- 3.17 ERA, 1.21 WHIP with 39 saves in 43 chances -- over 65.1 innings in 2014. Despite posting an ERA over 3.00 for the first time in his career, Cishek also registered the lowest FIP (2.17) and xFIP (2.54) of his four seasons in the majors. The 28-year-old stopper leans heavily on a sinker-slider combination which has proven effective at producing swings and misses (30.6 K% in 2014) and generating plenty of groundballs (51.1 GB% for his career). Cishek will once-again be locked in at the back end of the Marlins’ bullpen and he remains one of the game’s most reliable closers.
136 Carlos Carrasco (Cle - SP, RP)
DL15
ADP: 128.7
CHG: 0.0
Depth: --
W L SV IP K ERA WHIP
2014 Season 8 7 1 134.0 140 2.55 0.99
2015 Projections 12 9 1 169.0 157 3.51 1.24
3 Year Average 4 6 0 90.3 85 3.59 1.20
Outlook: If you have ever wondered why those guys with prospect pedigree get several chances even when it seems hopeless, Carrasco’s 2014 is an example of how well it can pan out when it does finally come together. That doesn't mean you will always see it coming, as Carrasco had a 5.29 ERA in 238 major league innings along with a Tommy John surgery under his belt before this breakout. Then he kicked off 2014 with a 6.95 ERA in his first four starts, which only further suggested that it just wasn’t going to work. He spent the next three-plus months cultivating a slider in the bullpen before returning to the rotation and pitching as arguably the best arm in baseball. His 1.30 ERA upon returning to the rotation was baseball’s best while his 0.81 WHIP was third-best. Elite velocity and three bankable secondary pitches fueled the success and leave many encouraged for a full season in the rotation in 2015. There’s still risk betting on a 69-inning sample, but there is a lot to love here and Carrasco could be Cleveland’s next stud.
150 Kenley Jansen (LAD - RP)
Healthy
ADP: 108.2
CHG: 0.0
Depth: CL-1
W L SV IP K ERA WHIP
2014 Season 2 3 44 65.3 101 2.76 1.13
2015 Projections 7 3 41 71.0 103 2.29 0.97
3 Year Average 4 3 32 69.0 104 2.35 0.94
Outlook: Jansen allowed 45 percent of his season’s runs in three outings. The trio of three-run outings was contained in just two innings of work and that was essentially the difference in his ERA from 2013 to 2014. Otherwise, he was still absolutely amazing with a career-high 44 saves, a 37.7% strikeout rate, and 5.3 K/BB ratio. Absent those three crazy outings and his out-of-whack .350 BABIP, he might have bested his 1.99 ERA from 2013. In short, he deserves serious consideration atop the closer rankings. While his strikeout rate is technically dropping if you push out a decimal, from 39.3% to 37.7%, his swinging-strike rate is actually on the rise from 14.2% to 16.6%, meaning the strikeout rate could jump back up toward his obscene 44.0% mark from 2011.
152 Drew Storen (Was - RP)
Healthy
ADP: 136.1
CHG: 0.0
Depth: MR-1
W L SV IP K ERA WHIP
2014 Season 2 1 11 56.3 46 1.12 0.98
2015 Projections 2 2 7 31.0 26 2.80 1.13
3 Year Average 3 1 6 49.3 43 2.74 1.16
Outlook: Three seasons after getting his first taste of the closer role, Storen finally regained his ninth-inning duties down the stretch in 2014 after Rafael Soriano fell apart. The young right-hander didn't disappoint, converting all 10 of his save chances in September while posting an exceptional 1.12 ERA and 0.98 WHIP on the season. While those rate stats aren't sustainable, he does seem poised for a successful 2015. Storen's K/9 rate dropped last year, but thanks to mechanical tweaks and increased usage of his changeup instead of his slider as a contrast to his 92-95 mph fastball, he was able to produce more groundballs and post a career-best 0.32 HR/9. Storen is far from a stable commodity after a bumpy ride through the first few seasons of his career. However, as long as he's able to keep attacking the bottom of the zone, he should be an effective closer for the Nationals.
153 Cody Allen (Cle - RP)
Healthy
ADP: 134.6
CHG: 0.0
Depth: CL-1
W L SV IP K ERA WHIP
2014 Season 6 4 24 69.7 91 2.07 1.06
2015 Projections 3 4 11 57.0 69 3.50 1.26
3 Year Average 4 2 9 56.3 69 2.56 1.21
Outlook: Allen's big 2013 had many believing he should have been given the closer's role immediately after Chris Perez left, but instead the team went with an experienced arm in John Axford. He had nine saves and a 2.31 ERA in his first 13 appearances before allowing runs in three of his next four, two of which ended up being losses. Allen finally wrestled the job away in late-May and never looked back. In fact, in his final 50 appearances, he had a 1.49 ERA, 0.89 WHIP and 35.0% strikeout rate as well as 23 of his 24 saves for the season. Now with back-to-back big years under his belt, Allen is on the cusp of joining the tier of elite closers. There are only a handful of guys who can deliver huge save totals, minuscule ratios and push toward 100 strikeouts and Allen has all the makings of becoming one of those, though his price will be lower than the others for at least the 2015 draft season.
154 Glen Perkins (Min - RP)
DTD
ADP: 139.5
CHG: 0.0
Depth: CL-1
W L SV IP K ERA WHIP
2014 Season 4 3 34 61.7 66 3.65 1.18
2015 Projections 4 3 32 65.0 77 2.75 1.02
3 Year Average 3 1 29 65.0 74 2.77 1.05
Outlook: Perkins was having another stellar season as Minnesota's closer before an arm injury limited him in September. Perkins had a 2.72 ERA, 32 saves and 65:9 K:BB ratio in 59 innings through the end of August, but gave up eight runs with just one strikeout in 5.1 innings in September. He was eventually shut down the final week with a left forearm strain and secondary nerve irritation in his elbow. Luckily, there was no structural damage, but his health will be something to watch in spring training. If his arm isn't an issue, Perkins should be in line for another successful season as Minnesota's closer.
158 Koji Uehara (Bos - RP)
DL15
ADP: 139.5
CHG: 0.0
Depth: --
W L SV IP K ERA WHIP
2014 Season 6 5 26 64.3 80 2.52 0.92
2015 Projections 5 2 29 53.0 68 1.69 0.70
3 Year Average 3 2 16 58.3 75 1.70 0.72
Outlook: Uehara followed up his dominant 2013 season with the same effectiveness last year, throwing strikes and wiping out batters with his splitter until things fell apart over the final two months (5.74 ERA after Aug. 1). What the Red Sox feared in 2013 when they originally signed Uehara, who has a history of shoulder woes, was overusing him. In 2013, he didn't become the full-time closer until June, so overuse wasn't an issue. In 2014, he started the season as the closer and experienced fatigue with the increased role. Even with his late struggles, Uehara struck out more than 30 percent of the batters he faced for the fifth consecutive year. The organization is fully confident in Uehara and re-signed him for two seasons. It will be interesting to see just how much his workload is reduced, however, as Edward Mujica should be positioned to handle the extra save opportunities that arise on days when Uehara is deemed to be unavailable.
160 Dellin Betances (NYY - RP)
Healthy
ADP: 135.4
CHG: 0.0
Depth: MR-1
W L SV IP K ERA WHIP
2014 Season 5 0 1 90.0 135 1.40 0.78
2015 Projections 3 1 9 48.0 73 1.81 0.85
3 Year Average 2 0 0 47.3 72 1.90 0.87
Outlook: Now you understand why Betances was such a heralded prospect coming up through the system even though he consistently had no earthly idea where the ball was going. It had just become crystal clear that it wasn't going to work in the starting role so he shifted to the bullpen full-time in 2013 and took off at Triple-A with a 2.68 ERA and 1.12 WHIP. He was still walking too many batters, which left him with a small margin for error. In 2014, command and control of both his fastball and slider seemed to emerge overnight, especially for the latter and all of a sudden he was one of the most devastating forces in the game. He fanned at least two batters in 49 of his 70 total appearances, pacing the league by 10 (Wade Davis was next best). His 35 appearances of more than an inning were also baseball’s best. The Yankees used their stud brilliantly and it paid substantial fantasy dividends even though he wasn't closing games. A ninth-inning role would likely make him the top reliever off the board as he already offers elite strikeout totals and ratios from the bullpen.
161 Jonathan Papelbon (Was - RP)
Healthy
ADP: 141.2
CHG: 0.0
Depth: CL-1
W L SV IP K ERA WHIP
2014 Season 2 3 39 66.3 63 2.04 0.90
2015 Projections 4 3 30 62.0 65 2.87 1.05
3 Year Average 4 3 35 66.0 71 2.45 1.03
Outlook: After failing to reach 30 saves in 2013, Papelbon finished with 39 saves last season for a pretty bad Phillies team. Papelbon is no longer the dominant force that he once was while closing games out for the Red Sox. He has seen his velocity drop from the mid-90s to the low-90s over the last four seasons, yet has maintained a solid strikeout rate while keeping the walks in check. Further, he has been able to keep the ball in the park despite a moderate groundball rate. The Phillies would like to trade Papelbon this winter, but finding a taker has been difficult due to his reputation as a clubhouse cancer -- though his fellow relief pitchers often call him an excellent mentor -- and his large salary. He will close if he opens the year back with the Phillies, but will be a strong candidate to be moved by the trade deadline. Ken Giles is next in line for saves and is a worthwhile grab for any Papbelon owner.
167 Huston Street (LAA - RP)
Healthy
ADP: 138.7
CHG: 0.0
Depth: CL-1
W L SV IP K ERA WHIP
2014 Season 2 2 41 59.3 57 1.37 0.94
2015 Projections 5 2 28 50.0 47 2.29 0.92
3 Year Average 2 3 32 51.7 50 1.92 0.91
Outlook: The Angels went to great lengths to shore up their bullpen, parting ways with top prospects Taylor Lindsey and R.J. Alvarez in order to acquire Street from the Padres in July. The 31-year-old's peripherals came back to earth a bit, but he was still able to live up to the billing as a member of the Halos, tallying a 1.71 ERA in 26.1 innings and collecting 17 saves to give him a career-best 41 on the season. Street has lived dangerously the past two seasons, sustaining strand rates of 99.5% and 93.3% in 2013 and 2014, respectively, but he managed to bring his HR/9 rate down to 0.6 after allowing 12 home runs in 56.2 innings in 2013 (1.9 HR/9). Street will likely be one of the top closers off the board on draft day in 2015 after the Angels exercised his option in October.
175 Santiago Casilla (SF - RP)
Healthy
ADP: 160.6
CHG: 0.0
Depth: CL-1
W L SV IP K ERA WHIP
2014 Season 3 3 19 58.3 45 1.70 0.86
2015 Projections 3 3 28 56.0 46 2.93 1.13
3 Year Average 6 4 15 57.3 46 2.20 1.12
Outlook: Predicting Sergio Romo would falter enough to lose the closer’s role would have been challenging enough, but seeing Casilla as his successor would've been even harder. Even though he entered 2014 with a 2.21 ERA in 220 innings with the Giants, he did so with an unimpressive strikeout rate (21.2%) and a flat-out bad K/BB ratio (1.98). He seemed to be living off of an incredible groundball rate (which yielded a tiny home run rate) and a keen ability to strand runners. The 34-year-old had the closer’s role by early July and did well with it. As closer, he had a 24% strikeout rate and 4.0 K/BB ratio in 26 innings. It’s a tiny sample for sure, but those skills will definitely play, especially since the groundball rate hit a career-high 56%, and he continued to strand runners at a tremendous clip (82%). He is lined up for the closer’s role in 2015 and will likely be underrated because of age and the lack of an overpowering strikeout rate.
198 Joaquin Benoit (SD - RP)
Healthy
ADP: 162.9
CHG: 0.0
Depth: MR-1
W L SV IP K ERA WHIP
2014 Season 4 2 11 54.3 64 1.49 0.77
2015 Projections 4 3 13 56.0 65 2.40 0.96
3 Year Average 4 2 12 64.0 74 2.53 1.00
Outlook: The Padres inked the then 36-year-old Benoit to a two-year, $15.5 million contract in December of 2013, seemingly anointing him the closer-in-waiting in case injury struck Huston Street for a fifth season in a row. However, Street proceeded to reel off save after save, all the while sidestepping the disabled list and containing Benoit as merely a setup man. Following the sudden post All-Star break trade of Street to the Angels, Benoit finally nabbed closing duties, which he held onto for just more than a month before a sore right shoulder induced a three-week absence beginning Aug. 31. In his stead, Kevin Quackenbush fared well - four saves in as many opportunities, 1.80 ERA, and 13 strikeouts in 10 frames - but Benoit was on point throughout the campaign, recording 11 saves with a 4-2 record, 1.49 ERA, 0.77 WHIP, and 10.6 K/9 across 54.1 innings. Consequently, Benoit will enter spring training as the incumbent closer, with Quackenbush breathing down the veteran’s neck in case he falters.
204 Zach Britton (Bal - RP)
Healthy
ADP: 158.8
CHG: 0.0
Depth: CL-1
W L SV IP K ERA WHIP
2014 Season 3 2 37 76.3 62 1.65 0.90
2015 Projections 1 2 11 58.0 43 3.75 1.29
3 Year Average 3 3 12 59.0 44 3.51 1.31
Outlook: Britton has always had filthy stuff which earned him plenty of prospect attention, but he simply couldn't command it with any regularity as a starter. The hefty groundball rates were nice, but he didn't miss as many bats as the stuff suggested, and the contact-heavy approach yielded far too many hits and homers. The O’s decided that it might work better in short spurts and their unsettled ninth-inning situation afforded them an opportunity to try Britton out as their new Jim Johnson. He walks a few more than Johnson, but also carries a better strikeout rate. The foundation of a remarkably elite groundball rate was still there, though, and it resulted in a boatload of success for the left-hander. There is enough skepticism about Britton that you shouldn't have to pay full price for the ERA and WHIP from last year, but owning him offers some potential upside. Don’t rule out more strikeouts to compensate for a BABIP drop, which could vault him up a tier or two in the closer ranks.
211 Hector Rondon (ChC - RP)
Healthy
ADP: 172.9
CHG: 0.0
Depth: CL-1
W L SV IP K ERA WHIP
2014 Season 4 4 29 63.3 63 2.42 1.06
2015 Projections 3 3 23 58.0 52 3.26 1.22
3 Year Average 3 2 14 59.0 54 3.51 1.22
Outlook: Rondon was a mediocre reliever as a Rule 5 draftee in 2013, but a variety of circumstances led to him closing games for the Cubs last year and…he wasn't bad. He showed the outstanding control he had earlier in his minor league career, using a 63:15 K:BB ratio to earn his way to 29 saves. Also, with only two home runs given up in 63.1 innings, Rondon limited the damage that can often come when the wind is blowing out in Wrigley. Rondon looks like he'll deservedly head into the 2015 season as the closer, though he could face competition from Jason Motte if the former Cardinal can return to his pre-Tommy John form with his new club.
214 Jake McGee (TB - RP)
DL15
ADP: 181.6
CHG: 0.0
Depth: --
W L SV IP K ERA WHIP
2014 Season 5 2 19 71.3 90 1.89 0.90
2015 Projections 6 3 16 60.0 79 2.16 0.95
3 Year Average 5 2 7 63.0 79 2.57 0.95
Outlook: Fantasy owners have wanted this fireballer as the closer since he was in the minors. That finally happened in 2014, after the Rays pulled the plug on Grant Balfour. McGee won 5 games and saved 19 others while striking out one of every three batters he faced. He increased his effectiveness by walking just 16 and allowing two home runs against 274 batters faced. McGee is a reverse splits reliever who is even more effective against righties (.192/.259/.288 career) than he is against lefties (.227/.270/.344 career). He will open 2015 on the DL after undergoing arthroscopic surgery on his elbow in December, and how he will be used upon his return will be up to the Rays' new manager, Kevin Cash. Joe Maddon did not hesitate to use McGee in non-traditional situations, even when he was the actual closer. Cash may not be as open to that kind of utilization. Either way, this is still a stud to invest in.
215 Addison Reed (Ari - RP)
Healthy
ADP: 178.6
CHG: 0.0
Depth: MR-3
W L SV IP K ERA WHIP
2014 Season 1 7 32 59.3 69 4.25 1.21
2015 Projections 3 4 25 62.0 65 3.62 1.23
3 Year Average 3 4 34 62.0 65 4.21 1.23
Outlook: Reed showed real promise in his first year as a closer back in 2013, so expectations were even higher after he moved to Arizona. Improved strikeout and walk rates should have yielded a better season, but his home-run rate more than doubled, which added nearly a half run to his ERA. Four of his six blown saves involved home runs and only 36 percent of his 62 appearances were clean (no hits, no runs, and no walks), which was one of the worst rates among relievers. Despite the barrel of Pepto Bismol needed to watch him pitch last year, there is still a lot to like with Reed, especially since the Diamondbacks remained committed to him in the closer role. He did still log 32 saves while fanning over a quarter of the batters he faced in a down year, so ironing out the issues could vault him into the upper tier of closers with 35-plus saves and 85-plus strikeouts.
1 2 3 4 5
of
28
a d v e r t i s e m e n t