I’m not a believer in the drafting of saves. I prefer drafting good players, no matter the position. Drafting a bad pitcher because he has a certain job is a disgusting task, though I admit there is a point in the draft where you have to take a shot like that.
So this list should be taken with the slant that I’m leaning mostly towards saves, as that is the reason we typically draft relievers. Brandon Kintzler being drafted ahead of Seth Lugo is a fine example—we all know who the better pitcher is, but who has a greater pathway to saves?
With that caveat in my mind, here are my refreshed top 40 relievers for 2020. You may now excoriate me in the comments. Wade Davis over Scott Oberg is sure to ignite some flames...but again, who has the job right now? That, and Davis has been a fine pitcher for a looooooong time—until last year’s injury-riddled campaign. Paying an aggressive price for his understudy, Scott Oberg, seems as risky to me in the thin air of Colorado as it does to simply bank on a good pitcher returning to form. Maybe it’s just me.
My preferred entry point into this year’s crop of relievers is the Brandon Workman-to-Archie Bradley grouping. I don’t mind going back-to-back with that crew starting anytime around pick 160 in my drafts. Workman is my preferred choice, as he ranked inside the top 10% of the MLB in nearly every Statcast metric. He allowed a single barrel on 135 batted balls, good for an absurd 0.7% barrel rate. I’m targeting him everywhere on a Boston team that seems to be forgotten heading into the season.
Top 40 Relievers for 2020