If you’re going to win your fantasy baseball league this season, you must have a topnotch closer on your roster.
Last season, the best closer in baseball was easily Craig Kimbrel of the Atlanta Braves. Kimbrel led all relievers in WAR, according to FanGraphs, and finished fifth in the National League Cy Young Award voting. If you have the opportunity, snag him and you’ll be golden.
But when sifting through potential draft picks, you should keep a couple of things in mind about closers and guys that could be closing by the end of the season. First and foremost, it’s not all about saves. There are several great closers out there that won’t get nearly as many opportunities as others that play for contending clubs.
You can get plenty of value out of closers that have high strikeout rates and low walk rates. You should be looking for a closer that isn’t going to let up a bunch of runs in high-leverage situations—and potentially save situations—that will be the determining factor between winning and losing a matchup.
But if you need a refresher on who this year’s closers are and who the next best options are—in most instances, the primary setup man—I’ve got you covered. Here’s a look at each team’s late game guys heading into the 2013 season.
*All statistics were obtained via Baseball-Reference unless otherwise noted. All injury information was obtained through Baseball Prospectus. All contract information was obtained via Cot’s Contracts.