2010 Fantasy Baseball Early Closer Rankings ~ Take A Closer Look

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2010 Fantasy Baseball Early Closer Rankings ~ Take A Closer Look
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Can Lidge stay focused in Philly?

Closers are perhaps the bane of fantasy baseball. While they can help in a few categories they really are only useful in one, and that’s Saves. The almighty Save, one stat of 10 or more, but we enter every draft knowing three things about closers;

1)  there are only 30 of them to be had

2) most of them will be replaced at some point during the season due to trade, injury or poor performance

3) every season new closers will emerge out of nowhere and it’s a guessing game to pick who they might be.

So that begs the question, where should one draft a Closer, or what strategy should you use in doing so? The simple answer is, there is no simple answer. There are too many variables for drafting this position. But here are a few thoughts:

1) Never draft a relief pitcher earlier than the 6th round, not even the elite ones, because even the best closer in the game can’t impact your score as much as a solid offensive producer or quality starting pitcher.

2) If you grab an elite closer, wait and grab a middle or later round closer, then take a flyer on a 3rd late, even if it’s just a prospect chomping at the bit. Don’t waste an early pick grabbing a second elite closer. It’s a sure fire way to kill your team.

3) Let someone else pay a premium for the elite game stoppers and grab two middle-round solid closers, then pick up a high upside guy late.

4) Always remember, closers are the most coveted position, and most overvalued. Don’t over pay or over play.

5) Follow the flow of the draft and adjust your closer plan as it unfolds. An elite closer run could happen early, or one could slip to you late. Be prepared to adapt your game plan to the flow of the draft and you’ll be better prepared to make the right call.

In the end, follow your gut. Do what feels right to you. Advice is simply one person’s opinion, hopefully based on solid experience, but it’s never more important than your own.

The following rankings may change dramatically as spring training unfolds, as they seem to every season, and we will endeavor to update them frequently. Just know that things can change in the time it takes me to finish this article.


JS = Job Security –  Good, Fair, Poor

In Bold = Guys I’m high on in 2010

  Tier 1 Team JS Successor in Waiting One Liners
1 Joe Broxton LAD G George Sherrill Safe a bet as it gets
2 Mariano Rivera NYY G Phil Hughes Getting older, but the saves are always there
3 Joe Nathan MIN G Matt Guerrier How will the new park effect him?
4 Jonathan Papelbon BOS G Daniel Bard Flyballs and walk stats rising
5 Joakim Soria KCC G Kyle Farnsworth Similar line to Papelbon at a better price
6 Francisco Rodriguez NYM G Kelvim Escobar 3.71 ERA in ‘09. Ouch
Tier 2  
7 Billy Wagner ATL F Takashi Saito My leap of faith in his ability and recovery
8 Heath Bell SD F Edward Mujica Likely to be traded by all-star break
9 Andrew Bailey OAK F Brad Zeigler Can he avoid a sophomore slump?
10 Francisco Cordero CIN G Nick Massett Not flashy, but safe
11 Huston Street COL P Franklin Morales Let someone else assume the risk
12 Brian Fuentes ANA F Fernando Rodney Lots of saves, but he’ll give you a stroke
13 Brian Wilson SF F Jeremy Affeldt Somehow gets it done
14 Jose Valverde DET P Joel Zumaya Could be a nice surprise comeback
15 Trevor Hoffman MIL G LaTroy Hawkins Old reliable, emphasis on old
  Tier 3  
16 Chad Qualls ARI F Juan Gutierrez Should be ready by opening day
17 Rafael Soriano TB F JP Howell Injury concern, but great stuff
18 Brad Lidge PHI P Ryan Madson Plays better in even years, risk/reward
19 Bobby Jenks CHW F Matt Thornton He’s not getting much love this season
20 Ryan Franklin STL F Kyle McClellan Solid and safe pick, LaRussa likes his vets
21 Carlos Marmol CHC F Angel Guzman Cardiac kid can throw the heat
22 Frank Francisco TEX P C.J. Wilson He still has the job…somehow
23 Octavio Dotel PIT F Joel Hanrahan Could be a steal this season
24 Kerry Wood CLE F Chris Perry Perry will take over sometime this season
  Tier 4  
25 Jason Frasor TOR P Kevin Gregg If Frasor can keep Gregg at bay…
26 David Aardsma SEA F Mark Lowe I just don’t like this guy, but a save’s a save
27 Matt Lidstrom HOU P Brandon Lyon Handcuff these two
28 Mike Gonzalez BAL P Jim Johnson Desperation saves
29 Leo Nunez FLA P Dan Meyer Desperation saves
30 Matt Capps WAS P Brian Bruney Desperation saves

Catcher Rankings 1-10
Catcher Rankings 11-20 and Sleepers
OF Rankings 1-10

Take a look at even more 2010 fantasy rankings and articles…

First Base
Second Base
Third Base
National League Pitchers
American League Pitchers
Fantasy Football
Fantasy Hockey


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