Those of you who read my closer drafting strategy , comparing the concept of drafting closers and fantasy football kickers, know what type of closer candidates we are targeting this spring in fantasy baseball drafts.
But to be a little more specific, and to complete the series where we list our personal targets at each position (check them out here: catcher , first base , second base , third base , shortstop , outfield , starting pitcher ) in upcoming drafts, here are the closers we are most likely to draft in 2010.
Early Round Picks
Joakim Soria: We, collectively, refuse to select closers early in drafts. I did take Broxton and Papelbon in one league, but that was partially an autodraft snafu. If you must choose a closer somewhat early, consider Soria. He should earn you around 35 saves with a sub-3.00 ERA and approximately 70 strikeouts. And he will be much cheaper on draft day than the current big three—Rivera, Papelbon, Broxton.
Middle Round Picks
Jose Valverde: Another consensus pick, this is a closer that will likely be seen on a lot of ninja teams in 2010 and beyond. Few closers have notched as many saves as Valverde has the past three seasons (116), although most people could not tell you that. He is the main man for closing duties in Detroit, which is the perfect situation for a closer .
David Aardsma: Another closer in a good situation , Aardsma is young and closing games for a team good enough to win close games and provide him with plenty of save opportunities. There were some injury concerns about Aardsma this spring, but as of this writing, he is ready to start shutting down opponents on opening day.
Late Round Picks
Want to win fantasy championships? Fill out your roster with solid players and address your closer needs by snatching a plethora of these guys:
Chris Perez: The new closer for the Cleveland Indians after Kerry Wood went down with yet another injury. Ninja nation expects Perez to keep the closer gig, even after Wood is allegedly healthy.
Neftali Feliz: Uber-talented prospect was originally projected to find his way into the Rangers' rotation before being inserted into the bullpen. Francisco is not exactly money in the bank over a 162 game season, and if Feliz starts blowing away batters like he's capable of, he could find himself in a closer role fairly quickly .
To see some more of our targeted closers for 2010 fantasy drafts, including a slew of late round options, click here .
To read a related story on 19 setup men who are potential closers , go here .
For all your fantasy baseball and football analysis, predictions, and advice (along with an all-day live blog during Monday's opening-day games) go to www.chinstrapninjas.com