2017 Fantasy Baseball Draft Prep: Cam Bedrosian leads the pack when looking for late-round saves
Most Fantasy owners know how it feels to finish a draft way short in saves. Heath Cummings looks for relievers who can get you saves late in the draft.
One of the biggest differences in a points league and a Rotisserie league comes in the drafting and management of relievers. With saves being an actual commodity and not just a way to accumulate points, closers fly off the board.
This leads to a situation where very few relievers are actually good values, so if you’re drafting based on value you may find yourself at the end of the draft desperate for saves. This is not a good place to be, but I know the route well.
Late-round saves essentially come from two places. Bad pitchers with a defined role and good pitchers without any guaranteed saves. We’ll discuss both on the list below.
Cam Bedrosian L.A. Angels RP
|ADP: 218 My Rank: 246 | With the injury to Huston Street, Bedrosian could be the rare talented reliever with a clear path to saves who is available late in the draft. Andrew Bailey is also in contention for the closer’s role but he hasn’t been good since at least 2013. Bedrosian last year posted very good K numbers (11.4 K/9), a solid WHIP (1.09) and a sparkling ERA (1.12). He’ll have competition from Huston Street once (if) Street gets back to full strength, but Bedrosian could have a solid grip on the job by then.|
Fernando Rodney Arizona RP
|ADP: 243 My Rank: 259 | Rodney was awful after the Padres traded him to the Marlins but it feels like his struggles are being exaggerated. He finished 2016 with a 3.44 ERA and a 1.39 WHIP. Those are not good numbers by any means, but they’re right in line with his career marks. Over his career, Rodney has mostly been just good enough to keep the job, and I’m not sure I see anyone who can challenge him in Arizona, at least not right away.|
Neftali Feliz Milwaukee RP
|ADP: 225 My Rank: 260 | The consensus seems to lean Feliz over Rodney, and I could understand that if everything about their situations was the same. I expect Feliz to pitch for a team that wins less games in a park that is more suited for hitting. I also think there’s a much higher chance that the Brewers trade him somewhere to be a setup man if he performs well in the first half. With all that being said, he’s still a safe source of saves in the first half of the season.|
Brandon Kintzler Minnesota RP
|ADP: 254 My Rank: 272 | Halfway through spring training, Kintzler is the worst pitcher I feel confident in remaining the closer for the first half of the season. The cupboard is pretty bare when it comes to bullpen arms in Minnesota, and to be frank, it makes little sense for them to allocate resources to the bullpen until they’ve built a team that will have games worth saving.|
Nate Jones Chi. White Sox RP
|ADP: 256 My Rank: 301 | If you didn’t notice we made a pretty quick transition from bad pitchers who get saves to great pitchers that need a role. Jones is an elite source of Ks, WHIP and ERA. We have every reason to believe the White Sox will eventually deal David Robertson, at which point Jones will also become a source of saves. The only issue is one of time. If the White Sox wait until after the break to deal Robertson, Jones won’t help much in saves.|
Carter Capps San Diego RP
|ADP: 357 My Rank: 302 | Capps and his funky delivery look to be the steal of drafts as far as saves go. Brandon Maurer is unremarkable (more on that later) and Capps was one of the best relievers in baseball when he was last healthy. In 2015, Capps struck out 58 batters in 31 innings while posting a WHIP of 0.80. Those are the types of numbers that could make an elite closer even on the worst of teams.|
Jeanmar Gomez Philadelphia RP
|ADP: 300 My Rank: 314 | My apologies to Brandon Kintzler, because if Gomez is actually the closer at the beginning of the year, he’s definitely the worst reliever getting saves. In fact, he was so bad that he’s already lost this job once. For some reason the Phillies are considering giving it to him again, and for that reason you’ll have to consider drafting Gomez late if you’re short on saves.|
Brandon Maurer San Diego RP
|ADP: 232 My Rank: 315 | Capps’ ADP makes more sense when you see Maurer’s. People are clearly projecting that he’ll hold on to the closer’s role much longer than I am. I’m not even 100 percent certain he will start the season with the role. If Capps is healthy and anywhere close to his old self, this shouldn’t be a competition. But with Capps’ health concerns, there’s a decent chance Maurer gets save opportunities in April or longer.|
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