Fantasy Baseball 2012: Top 50 Relief Pitchers

The Sandman's Final Call?

The closer spot on teams doesn't offer the greatest stability factor. As only 3 closers have been with their respective teams for longer than 2 seasons(Rivera, Wilson and Soria). For long term purposes we are starting to see the "new era" of relief pitching. Bullpens are starting to become a haven for specialists and effective relief only guys. If you have read anything that I have written previously, I love stacking the end of my pitching roster with relievers who will keep your peripheral stats in check. The future is starting to look really good for the long term closer candidates, and it is being ushered in by Craig Kimbrel. So on to what your here to read enough of the fluff.

1. Craig Kimbrel ATL

2. Mariano Rivera NYY

3. Jon Axford MIL

4. Jonathon Papelbon PHI

5. Drew Storen WAS

Rest of rankings after the jump.


6. Jose Valverde DET

7. Ryan Madson CIN

8. Brian Wilson SF

9. Andrew Bailey BOS

10. Sergio Santos TOR

11. Joel Hanrahan PIT

12. Heath Bell MIA

13. JJ Putz ARI

14. Joakim Soria KC

15. Brandon League SEA

16. Carlos Marmol CHC

17. Rafael Betancourt COL

18. Joe Nathan TEX

19. Huston Street SD

20. Jason Motte STL

21. Jordan Walden ANA

22. Kenley Jansen LAD

23. Chris Perez CLE

24. Javy Guerra LAD

25. Matt Thornton CHW

26. Johnny Venters ATL

27. Frank Francisco NYM

28. Jim Johnson BAL

29. Kyle Farnsworth TB

30. Matt Capps MIN

31. Vinnie Pestano CLE

32. Addison Reed CHW

33. David Robertson NYY

34. Tyler Clippard WAS

35. Sergio Romo SF

36. Brett Myers HOU

37. Grant Balfour A's

38. Francisco Rodriguez MIL

39. Mike Adams TEX

40. Sean Marshall CIN

41. Joel Peralta TB

42. Glen Perkins MIN

43. David Hernandez ARI

44. Francisco Cordero TOR

45. Scott Downs ANA

46. Fernando Salas STL

47. Greg Holland KC

48. Luke Gregerson SD

49. Antonio Bastardo PHI

50. Joaquin Benoit DET

NEXT FIVE: Rex Brothers, Andrew Cashner, Rafael Soriano, Fautino De Los Santos, Mark Melancon

DEEP SLEEPERS: Jeff Samadzija, Tom Wilhelmsen, Edward Mujica, Juan Abreu, Matt Lindstrom

FIVE FOR DYNASTY: Heath Hembree, Joel Carreno, Kelvin Herrera, Brad Boxberger, Bruce Rondon

  • I never was a fan of Chris Perez and now his injury has vaulted my often promoted Vinnie Pestano to about the same ranking. Altough, I think by years end Pestano has top 15 type potential. I'm a sucker for the paisans. Oh ehh. Or Ehh oh if your from the west coast.
  • Equally as perplexing but very similar in situation is the closer situation with the White Sox and the Dodgers. Both have equally competent big arms in waiting. Guerra and Thornton both start the year and I don't see either finishing. All 4 guys will contribute mightily to saves/holds if your league does that type of thing.
  • I would offer advice and ignore the closer situation in Oakland. For drafting sake you could roster 3 guys and all seem like a crap shoot to me. I would rather take a closer a round too early then be stuck with one too late.
  • The lower half of the ranking features guys who will get some sneaky saves/maybe better options in the near future. Holland, Brothers and Hernandez all fit this criteria.
  • All guys after the first 12 or so are pretty much interchangeable for me. As some have more potential for K's then others, or their teams are in a better position to win games.
Hope you enjoyed the read. Questions, comments or sarcastic innuendos are always welcomed.
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