To make this list of the ten pitchers relievers who in theory will be the best during the next season I have used the predictions given in this position by the people of Fangraphs. I have filtered the table by the players who play relievers, since in the predictions they have not differentiated them from the openers
And the list is as follows:
NAME/WAS/ SV/ H/ ER/ SO/ K / 9 BB / 9 FIP / WAR%
Andrew Miller 2.19 20 43 16 97 13.49 2.52 2.04 1.7 70
Dellin Betances 2.46 2 43 18 98 13.61 3.45 2.30 1.7 70
Aroldis Chapman 2.34 36 40 17 104 14.37 3.66 2.35 1.6 60
Kenley Jansen 2.60 39 45 19 92 12.68 2.28 2.43 1.5 50
Zach Britton 2.53 32 54 18 74 10.28 2.91 2.64 1.4 40
Wade Davis 2.82 37 51 20 79 10.96 3.10 2.92 1.1 10
Edwin Diaz 2.81 35 50 20 81 11.17 2.73 2.83 1.1 10
Ken Giles 2.96 27 49 21 85 11.79 3.33 2.93 1.1 10
Grant Dayton 2.94 1 51 21 82 11.41 2.88 3.00 1.1 10
Craig Kimbrel 3.02 35 48 22 87 12.09 3.82 3.00 1 0
1. Andrew Miller (Cleveland Indians)
For me the most elegant pitcher in MLB. The flagship in the “Bullpen Revolution”, how Francona used it during the postseason. Since arriving in the middle of last season the Indians have faced 176 hitters, eliminated 76 for Strikeouts and conceded 7 walks. He dominated completely during the Playoffs to two of the most powerful offenses in the league, the Blue Jays and the Red Sox. He got 27 strikeouts in his first 15 October innings. And what a Slider, by God. What a slider !. Probably the most decisive signing of the Indians to reach the World Series last season.
Projection: The last data of the table, the percentage, is the best since it is his WAR on the average of the best 30 in his position of the MLB, a 70% better, being 1 the average of WAR. Here we could start a debate about the value of WAR in the relievers. Does Miller, Betances or Chapman really give more than a victory to their team? Do they have the same value as Jason Heyward last year? 1.7 from WAR. This topic gives for another article.
Miller will be the relieved pitcher with a lower ERA (2.19), who will get fewer runs (16) and a better FIP (2.04). The second with fewer walks every nine innings, and the third with more Strikeouts every 9 innings.
2. Dellin Betances (New York Yankees)
Betances began playing Closer when last year the Yankees traded Chapman and Miller. In the last three seasons he has scored 392 Strikeouts in 247 innings. Last year he suffered a gruesome September, giving 13 runs in 8.1 innings. In the arbitration Dellin asked for $ 5 million, but was awarded $ 3 million, explaining that as Chapman had returned to the team, this would be the closer, so he could not ask to charge as a Closer. Another rule I would give for an article. Does the closer have to close the game or would it be better to use it when the best batters of the other team appear, from the second to the fifth of the offensive line? So Betances does not start very happy the season.
Projection: A WAR is 70% better than average. He will not play closer so he is not expected to get many Saves (2), receive fewer Hits (43) and the second that will get more Strikeouts for every 9 innings.
3. Aroldis Chapman (New York Yankees)
The MLB’s best-paid reliever pitcher, $ 85 million for five years, as he is paid as a closer. Over time it seems that your speed has to decrease, so you should improve the control of your launches. He is the player with the fastest ball in history – since it is calculated -, he has an average fastball of more than 100 miles per hour. Among the fastest launches last season, the top 25 are from Champan. He has faced 1494 batters during his career, eliminated by Strikeouts by 43% and only 13% have managed to hit a hit. He starred in one of the best player moves in MLB’s recent history since he went to the Cubs in mid-season for several prospects and has returned to this organization. The Cubs won a World Series and the Yankees several Cubs prospects, including Gleyber Torres, the Yankees’ number one prospect, and with their New York moves they have the league’s second best after the Atlanta Braves.
Projection: 60% better than average on WAR. He will receive fewer Hits (40), who will get to eliminate more hitters for Strikeout (140) and the best strikeouts ratio every nine innings (14.37).
4. Kenley Jansen (Los Angeles Dodgers)
A pitcher capable of throwing more than one inning, and does not tire of repeating that he can pitch before the ninth inning. Against the Cubs, in the National League final, he only conceded one hit in 6 1/3 innings, with 10 Strikeouts and no walks. This year I think they will use it more than last year. It also charges a stratospheric salary, $ 80 million over the next five seasons. With players on the bases leaves the batters with an Average of .149 (three hitters out of 20 get a hit).
Projection: 50% better than average on WAR. The one who will concede the least walks (2.28 every 9 innings) and get more Saves (39).
5. Zach Britton (Baltimore Orioles)
The best pitcher of Two-Seam Fastball or Sinker, at 98 miles per hour throws the little angel. His last season numbers are incredible: an ERA of 0.54 in 67 innings, 47 Saves, 74 hitters eliminated by Strikeout and a single HR awarded. And only allowed one race in the last five months of competition, that’s a race in 58 appearances in the match. But Britton will not be remembered for the games that played that season, in memory will be the one who did not play, the Wild Card game that lost the Baltimore to the people of Toronto. Buck Showalter, coach of the Orioles, decided not to take him out during the game, waiting for the ideal moment of the closer, and this did not arrive. Zach stayed on the bench, a story I already told.
Projection: 40% better than average on WAR. The one that will receive more hits of the ten (54). The one that will get less Strikeouts (74, 10.28 every 9 entries).
6. Wade Davis (Chicago Cubs)
Coming from the Royals, doubts appear in his elbow, last year entered the list of injured for this reason. In the last three years he has conceded 104 hits in 182 2/3 innings, 234 Strikeouts and only 54 Bases, has conceded 3 HR and his era has been 1.18. The champion team arrives to cover Chapman’s march.
Projection: 10% better than average on WAR. An ERA of 2.82 and an FIP of 2.92
7. Edwin Diaz (Seattle Mariners)
22, known as “Sugar,” debuted last season in MLB on June 6. He faced 217 batters, 88 eliminated by Strikeouts, a fastball of 97.3 miles per hour and a slider that has to improve. The second year in The Majors is always complicated, and the projections are not usually so successful, for good and bad. Future.
Projection: ERA of 2.81, 11.17 Strikeouts every 9 innings and 10% better than average in WAR.
8. Ken Giles (Houston Astros)
He did not start well last season, 10 runs in the first 10 innings played, but everything changed over time, his remaining 55.2 innings got an ERA of 3.23 by eliminating 88 batters for Strikeouts, and his great work made him August In the closer of Houston. Speed in their launches, during the last three seasons: 100.3 / 99.8 / 100 miles per hour.
Projection: 10% better than average on WAR. A 2.96 ERA, will concede 49 hits with an FIP of 2.93.
Grant Dayton (Los Angeles Dodgers)
29, debuted in The Majors last season. He played 26.1 innings, conceded 4 HR, eliminated 39 players for Strikeout and his ERA was 2.05. His postseason was not good, he pitched 3.1 innings, got 6 hits and the opposing team got 3 runs. Next to Betances, the two of the list that will not play, in principle, closer. For me an unknown thing that can do this season, but is a player of 29 years who is in the opportunity of his life, will not look at another like this.
Projection: 10% better than average on WAR. Srikeouts lowest rating every 9 innings (11.41), with the highest FIP (3.00), as Craig Kimbrel.
10. Craig Kimbrel (Boston Red Sox)
After his dominant years, from 2011 to 2014, playing in Atlanta, in 2011 Rookie of the year and among Cy Young’s first nine during these four seasons, harder times came and their numbers got worse. Last season had problems with his meniscus. Last season it reached its worse ERA (3.40), although its speed maintains near the 100 miles per hour (99.7). It will be free agent in 2018, although the Red Sox have the possibility to retain it if they want. We’ll see how his season goes, but if it’s bad he’ll probably leave Boston.
Projection: In the mean of WAR. He will have a worse ERA (3.02), who will receive more races (22), who will concede more walks (3.82), and the worst FIP (3.00), along with Grant Dayton.
We left out other great players like: Sean Doolittle, Nate Jones, Mark Melancon, Jeurys Familia, Shawn Kelley, Seung Hwan Oh, Kelvin Herrera, Roberto Osuna or Greg Holland.