Closer Report: Week 21 Rankings

USA TODAY Sports

Ray Guilfoyle ranks his top 40 closers and middle relievers for Week 21 of the MLB season.

We're closing in on the last month of the 2013 season, and I can't believe we are only a few days from September. The pennants races are less than thrilling right now, so our thoughts are on our fantasy teams if they are competing this season, or the 2014 season, where we are trading our higher priced players for cheaper keepers or prospects to help build a winner in 2014.

A couple new closers/relievers who could be keepers for 2014 include Mariners closer Danny Farquhar, Rockies closer Rex Brothers and Cardinals set up man Trevor Rosenthal.

Farquihar has saved 9 games in 12 chances thus far, and is striking out 38% of the batters he has faced this season. Any time you can get a closer/reliever who strikes out that many batters, you do it. His ERA sits at a lofty 4.57 right now, but his advanced stats say that he has pitched better than that, as his FIP sits a full three runs lower at 1.58.

Brothers is the Rockies closer of the now and the future, especially with the news that Rafael Betancourt tore his UCL in a game last week vs the Phillies. Brothers has converted 13 of his 14 save opportunities while striking out 27% of the batters he faces. He does have a problem with the free pass as he is walking 12% of the batters he has faced, and his 94% strand rate indicates his 1.46 ERA will move closer to his 3.27 FIP at some point.

Rosenthal is the closer in waiting in St. Louis, and if you can get your hands on him, do so. Now. Rosenthal has 26 holds right now, and is striking out 33% of the batters he faces, while walking just under 7%. In addition to striking out batters, Rosenthal keeps the ball on the ground at a 40% clip, and his 2.20 FIP indicates he has pitched slightly better than his 2.49 ERA indicates.

All three of these closers/closers in waiting are solid keeper choices for 2014 and if you can get your hands on them via a trade, you should do so.

Let's take a look at my Closer Rankings for Week 21:

Rank

Closer/Middle Reliever

Team

1

Craig Kimbrel

ATL

2

Aroldis Chapman

CIN

3

Kenley Jansen

LAD

4

Greg Holland

KC

5

Joe Nathan

TEX

6

Mariano Rivera

NYY

7

Edward Mujica

STL

8

Addison Reed

CHW

9

Mark Melancon

PIT

10

Glen Perkins

MIN

11

Joaquin Benoit

DET

12

Sergio Romo

SFG

13

Danny Farquhar

SEA

14

Casey Janssen

TOR

15

Grant Balfour

OAK

16

Chris Perez

CLE

17

Rex Brothers

COL

18

Jonathan Papelbon

PHI

19

Jim Johnson

BAL

20

Koji Uehara

BOS

21

Huston Street

SD

22

Rafael Soriano

WAS

23

Fernando Rodney

TB

24

Steve Cishek

MIA

25

Brad Zeigler

ARI

26

Jim Henderson

MIL

27

Kevin Gregg

CHC

28

Dane de la Rosa

LAA

29

Chia-Jen Lo

HOU

30

Latroy Hawkins

NYM

31

Trevor Rosenthal

STL

32

Francisco Rodriguez

BAL

33

Tyler Clippard

WAS

34

David Robertson

NYY

35

Luke Gregerson

SD

36

Jason Grilli

PIT

37

Pedro Strop

BAL

38

Ernesto Frieri

LAA

39

Ryan Cook

OAK

40

Drew Smyly

DET

X
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