Profile image
By Roto Professor - Baseball
Contributor profile | More stories
Story Views

Last Hour:
Last 24 Hours:

2017 Rankings: Top 15 Relief Pitchers: New Names Crash The Party

Monday, March 6, 2017 6:07
% of readers think this story is Fact. Add your two cents.

by Eric Stashin (aka The Rotoprofessor)

We all know how frustrating closers can be.  Whether it’s injury or inability, we consistently have a new stream of options presenting themselves.  Last season saw the typical turnover, but from it came a pair of new Top 5 options.  The offseason trade of Wade Davis opened the door for another pitcher to rise into the Top 10, leaving our rankings littered with new names from a year ago.  How do things fall?  Let’s take a look:

1. Aroldis Chapman – New York Yankees
2. Kenley Jansen – Los Angeles Dodgers
3. Zach Britton – Baltimore Orioles
4. Edwin Diaz – Seattle Mariners
5. Seung Hwan Oh – St. Louis Cardinals
6. Mark Melancon – San Francisco Giants
7. Craig Kimbrel – Boston Red Sox
8. Roberto Osuna – Toronto Blue Jays
9. Kelvin Herrera – Kansas City Royals
10. Ken Giles – Houston Astros
11. Andrew Miller – Cleveland Indians
12. David Robertson – Chicago White Sox
13. Wade Davis – Chicago Cubs
14. Alex Colome – Tampa Bay Rays
15. Dellin Betances – New York Yankees


  • Having included a pair of non-closers (Andrew Miller & Dellin Betances) in these rankings, the next two names on the list are noteworthy if you are focused strictly on saves.  They are Sam Dyson and Jeurys Familia.
  • Speaking of Familia, he’d be a Top 6 or 7 option if he wasn’t facing a potential suspension (if rumors are accurate, he could miss anywhere from 20-40 games).  Obviously that much potential missed time has to have a significant impact on your ranking.
  • Edwin Diaz coming in at #4 may be the most surprising name on this list.  We talked about him in detail a few months ago, so make sure you check that article out by clicking here.
  • Last year was supposed to be a big one for Ken Giles, but he fell flat and ultimately pitched in a setup role for much of the season.  While he finished with a 4.11 ERA, there was some poor luck behind it (.349 BABIP).  He brought strikeouts (13.98 K/9) and control (3.43 BB/9), and he also should do a better job of keeping the ball in the ballpark (1.10 HR/9 vs. 0.55 career mark).  Things should be better, and with his strikeout stuff it’s hard not to consider him among the better options as long as he has the job.
  • There’s a good chance David Robertson gets traded at some point, so keep that in mind.  While he will likely land somewhere with a hole at the end of games (like Washington), there is some risk that he could be traded and settle into a setup role.
  • Another closer who could ultimately be traded is Alex Colome, which would fit the mold for Tampa Bay as they seem to go through a different closer each year.  As it is he benefited from a 93.0% strand rate, so don’t expect him to come close to last season’s 1.91 ERA.  That’s not to say that he won’t be good if he keeps the job, as his transition to the bullpen led to a 15.1% SwStr% (11.28 K/9), just know the risk.

*** Order Rotoprofessor’s 2017 Fantasy Baseball Draft Guide for Just $7.00 By Clicking Here!!   Not only will you get all the help you need to dominate your fantasy draft, but you will also be entered to win a Noah Syndergaard autographed baseball, complete with “Thor” inscription! ***

Make sure to check out our other Early 2017 Rankings:

Standard League
OBP League
Catcher 01/09/17 02/28/17
First Base 01/16/17
Second Base 01/23/17
Third Base 02/06/17
Shortstop 02/13/17
Outfield #1-20 |02/20/17

#21-40 |02/22/17

Starting Pitcher #1-20 |02/27/17

#21-40 |03/02/17

Relief Pitcher 01/02/17


We encourage you to Share our Reports, Analyses, Breaking News and Videos. Simply Click your Favorite Social Media Button and Share.

Report abuse


Your Comments
Question Razz Sad Evil Exclaim Smile Redface Biggrin Surprised Eek Confused Cool LOL Mad Twisted Rolleyes Wink Idea Arrow Neutral Cry Mr. Green

Top Stories
Recent Stories



Top Global

Top Alternative




Email this story
Email this story

If you really want to ban this commenter, please write down the reason:

If you really want to disable all recommended stories, click on OK button. After that, you will be redirect to your options page.