Relief pitchers are often thought of as the “Kickers” of baseball, and there is a reason for this theory. For one, there are 30 closers in the league (maybe even more if you count “by committee” bullpens). If you’re in a 10 team league, there will be a throng of closers to be had, even into the late rounds (not every closer will be owned by the end of the draft). Closers also only fulfill one stat category (Saves), which means if you draft a closer with one of your top 10 picks, you’re going to be losing out on a lot of other categories.
That being said, I like to own one of the more renown closers as to avoid the headache of “chasing saves.” I won’t ever go out and draft the best closer, or the second best for that matter, but I like to have a guy on my team who is going to get me at least 30 saves and won’t be in jeopardy of losing his job. This would actually be a good year to draft Jonathan Papelbon or Francisco Rodriguez because of how late you can get them. Brian Wilson was a great value last year, but I won’t own him this year due to his inflated value.
The best closer this year has to be Carlos Marmol, not because he’s going to get the most saves/save opportunities, but because he’s the only pitcher on this list who is a two stat player. Last year, Marmol had 138 strikeouts in 77.2 innings! That’s startling. The only real knock on the guy is his inability to have a 1-2-3 inning. If you own this flamethrower, I would suggest not watching any of his performances. Marmol allowed 12 more walks than hits last year, which suggests major control issues, but when you’re also striking out the side every outing, not many are going to complain.