Fantasy Baseball 2012: Early Relief Pitcher Rankings

NEW YORK - FILE: Mariano Rivera #42 of the New York Yankees delivers a pitch against the New York Mets on June 20, 2010 at Yankee Stadium in the Bronx borough of New York City. According to reports, Rivera will have surgery on his vocal cords to have polyps removed on Friday December 2, 2011. (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)

We continue our early look at 2012 positional rankings this week with starting pitchers. Why not have a look at the other positions as well?

Catcher: Initial, In-Depth with Profiles

First Base: Initial, In-Depth with Profiles

Second Base: Initial, In-Depth with Profiles

Third Base: Initial, In-Depth with Profiles

Shortstop: Initial, In-Depth with Profiles

Outfield: Initial, In-Depth with Profiles: #1 | #2

Starting Pitchers: Initial, In-Depth with Profiles: #1, | #2

Relief pitching is, as it is during the season, extremely volatile in terms of future rankings. As of this writing, the following teams either have an up-in-the-air closer's job, or one which may not be determined until the spring:

BAL, BOS, CHW, LAD, CIN

Needless to say, these will probably change before the season starts. These rankings are based on the premise that I was doing a draft today.

Another note: I have removed players who will almost assuredly not be in relief roles, most notably Neftali Feliz, Jim Johnson, and Chris Sale. But it is something to keep in mind when drafting that these players will likely be starting pitchers, but qualify as relief pitchers.

  1. Craig Kimbrel - ATL
  2. Mariano Rivera - NYY
  3. Jonathan Papelbon - PHI
  4. John Axford - MIL
  5. Joel Hanrahan - PIT
  6. J.J. Putz - ARI
  7. Drew Storen - WAS
  8. Brian Wilson - SF
  9. Sergio Santos - TOR
  10. Heath Bell - FLA
  11. Joakim Soria - KC
  12. Jose Valverde - DET
  13. Ryan Madson - FA
  14. Huston Street - SD
  15. Daniel Bard - BOS
  16. Carlos Marmol - CHC
  17. Francisco Cordero - FA
  18. Jordan Walden - LAA
  19. Brandon League - SEA
  20. Andrew Bailey - OAK
  21. Jason Motte - STL
  22. Joe Nathan - TEX
  23. Chris Perez - CLE
  24. Javy Guerra - LAD
  25. Rafael Betancourt - COL
  26. Frank Francisco - NYM
  27. Jonny Venters - ATL
  28. Kenley Jansen - LAD
  29. Kyle Farnsworth - TAM
  30. Matt Capps - MIN
  31. David Robertson - NYY
  32. Mike Adams - TEX
  33. Sergio Romo - SF
  34. Tyler Clippard - WAS
  35. Mark Melancon - HOU
  36. David Hernandez - ARI
  37. Sean Marshall - CHC
  38. Vinnie Pestano - CLE
  39. Francisco Rodriguez - MIL
  40. Fernando Salas - STL
  41. Antonio Bastardo - PHI
  42. Eric O'Flaherty - ATL
  43. Joaquin Benoit - DET
  44. Joel Peralta - TAM
  45. Grant Balfour - OAK
  46. Greg Holland - KC
  47. Jose Veras - PIT
  48. Rex Brothers - COL
  49. Aroldis Chapman - CIN
  50. Ramon Ramirez - NYM

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