Fantasy Baseball Draft 2014: Top 10 Relief Pitchers (RP)
Taking a Look at the Top 10 Relief Pitchers in the 2014 Fantasy Draft
February 27, 2014
For the past couple of weeks, we’ve been taking a position-by-position look at the top 10 fantasy prospects in the 2014 draft. Today, we’re finishing things up with relievers, which is always a tough position to nail down. You’ll definitely want to consider the top-shelf names here, since the talent and job stability wanes the further down the list you go. That said, these guys should be pretty stable all year long. Let’s take a closer look.
1. Craig Kimbrel, Atlanta Braves: Kimbrel is pretty much the consensus No. 1 among relievers, and you won’t see too many people arguing that. He’s coming off a 50-save year, and should flirt with that number again while maintaining a sub-1.50 ERA and 100 or so strikeouts. Kimbrel is fantasy gold.
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2. Greg Holland, Kansas City Royals: We’ve got Holland ranked a little higher than a lot of places out there, so call us optimists. He posted 47 saves last season and should be able to get close to that again in 2014. 100 strikeouts and a 0.85 WHIP with a 1.20 ERA aren’t out of the question here, either.
3. Aroldis Chapman, Cincinnati Reds: Given Chapman’s history of utter domination on the mound, last season’s 38 saves were a bit of a disappointment. He should easily pass 40 this summer and will notch around 110 strikeouts, but don’t be surprised if that ERA creeps up past 2.25 or so.
4. Kenley Jansen, Los Angeles Dodgers: Hopes are high for Jansen this year (and for the entire Dodgers organization, really), so he’ll go pretty quickly among relief pitchers. 40 saves sounds about right, and 105 strikeouts isn’t out of the question, either. All in all, Jansen should be a very good addition to your fantasy roster.
5. Koji Uehara, Boston Red Sox: Some people aren’t as high on Uehara as we are, but we see good things happening here. He put up some solid numbers in his 74.1 innings last season, and we see improvements across the board. His ERA has nowhere to go but up, though it won’t get crazy. He’ll see saves in the high 30s.
6. Trevor Rosenthal, St. Louis Cardinals: Rosenthal has been fighting a groin strain recently, so that’s something to keep an eye on in the days leading up to your draft. That said, there’s not a whole lot to be picky about here. He should see over 40 saves with K numbers somewhere in the 90s. If you can get him this low, he’ll provide some nice value.
7. Joe Nathan, Detroit Tigers: Nathan continued to return to form in 2013, logging 43 saves and a 1.39 ERA. We don’t expect him to touch those numbers this season, but he should get reasonably close. Expect a 2.75 or so ERA with 40 saves and 65 Ks. Still great numbers, regardless of how you look at it.
8. Sergio Romo, San Francisco Giants: Romo has had a pretty quiet off-season, so there’s no reason to think he won’t come back to a repeat of 2013. He may not quite get to 40 saves, but the 2.40-ish ERA and 1.00-or-so WHIP should have you kicking the tires here when you’re on the clock.
9. Jason Grilli, Pittsburgh Pirates: We’ve got Grilli ranked (quite a bit) higher than some places out there, so keep in mind that this represents an all-stars-aligning scenario. If he’s on track health-wise, and gets around 60 innings of work--neither of which are guarantees--he’ll give you top-10 RP numbers.
10. David Robertson, New York Yankees: As with Grilli, we’re a little more optimistic on Robertson than some others are. As long as he wins the job (which he should), you’re looking at some nice numbers from this spot. He should get saves in the high 30s with a 1.05-or-so WHIP and around 80 strikeouts.
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