Fantasy Baseball Draft 2015: Top 10 Relief Pitchers (RP)
Taking a Look at the Top 10 Relievers in the 2015 Fantasy Draft
March 17, 2015
For the past week or so, we’ve been celebrating the start of the 2015 fantasy baseball draft season with our looks at the top 10 players at each position. Today, we’re moving on to the relief pitchers, and as you might expect there’s a lot of talent at the top of the rankings. Let’s take a closer look at each name and see what we can be expecting this season stats-wise.
1. Greg Holland, Kansas City Royals: Holland leads off our 2015 RP rankings after coming off a great 2014 in which he posted 46 saves and 90 strikeouts. He’s got a chance to better those stats this summer. If all goes well, he could hit that 50-save threshold with 100 Ks to his credit.
USA TODAY Sports
2. Craig Kimbrel, Atlanta Braves: Another guy who’s got an outside shot at hitting 50 saves--though will probably be closer to 45--this year is Kimbrel. He should post an ERA around 1.50 and a sub-1.00 WHIP. Equaling last season’s 95 strikeouts isn’t out of the question, either.
3. Aroldis Chapman, Cincinnati Reds: Chapman, that old fantasy standby of the last few years, put up just 36 saves in 2014. Still, we should see some improvement there as long as he can stay healthy and get his innings somewhere in the 60s. We see a save number somewhere in the 40s with around 120 strikeouts.
4. Dellin Betances, New York Yankees: Betances hasn’t earned the closer role just yet, but if he does he’s worthy of a top-five draft spot among relievers. He struck out 135 batters in 90 innings last season and will probably better that ratio in 2015. 30 saves isn’t out of the question; there’s a lot of potential here as well.
5. David Robertson, Chicago White Sox: Robertson is coming off a successful 2014, during which he logged 39 saves. That considered, it shouldn’t be too tough for him to hit that 40-save threshold this year, provided he can continue the momentum from last summer. 90-100 strikeouts and an ERA around 2.50 sound about right.
6. Mark Melancon, Pittsburgh Pirates: We’ve got Melancon ranked a little higher than some places out there, but we feel he’s worth every bit of it. He put up 33 saves last year, and we think he’s got the goods to bag somewhere in the low-40s this summer. The Ks won’t be super-high (mid-70s) but the pick is looking good here.
7. Huston Street, Los Angeles Angels: Street’s had some up-and-down numbers over the past few years, but on the whole last year he was great. He bagged 41 saves, a number he could conceivably reach this season. The sub-1.90 ERA and sub-1.00 WHIP will counter the “blah” strikeout numbers.
8. Zach Britton, Baltimore Orioles: We’re optimists on Britton this year, as we’ve got him a tad higher than some other places. He should be able to better last season’s 37 saves, and will keep a sub-2.00 ERA and a WHIP around 1.00. Expect a K number somewhere in the 60s.
9. Cody Allen, Cleveland Indians: The needle is pointing up on Allen, and fantasy owners are buying into it. He should be good enough to bag a save number in the high-30s, and probably won’t have much trouble maintaining an ERA around 2.30 with a 1.10 WHIP. The strikeouts will also be pretty nice, as he’s got a shot at getting around 90 or so.
10. Koji Uehara, Boston Red Sox: Uehara has had a rough spring--and had a rough second half in 2014--but don’t let that dissuade you from putting him in your top 10 relievers this year. He’ll likely hit a mid-30s save number and should boast pretty respectable ERA and WHIP totals, too.
For the latest article updates, follow Andrew on Twitter @SCPAndrew.