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The Hold Up 4/28: Ranking the Top 100 Relievers for Holds Every Thursday

Ranking baseball's top setup options for the 2022 season.

There are a bunch of new names in Tier 5 this week (eight to be exact), and as we start to get some more data, expect this list to fluctuate over the coming weeks, especially around this tier. For most of you, this tier would be more of a “watch list”, unless you are playing in a very deep league. While Tyler Rogers represents the safe and reliable holds option, these guys are moreso the shoot for the moon, risk/reward types who have either flashed in the past or gotten off to a hot start this year. The risk is the important term there because while you shouldn’t be dropping Devin Williams for Trevor Stephan, I can see dropping someone like Brad Boxberger for him. I guess the point here is that you can treat Tier 5 more like Tier 3/4 (for the aggressive, give me upside types) or more like Tier 6 (for the more conservative managers), depending on your style. Everyone’s style is different, which is important to keep in mind when using rankings such as these, and to me, that’s what makes this process fun.

 

Notes

 

  • Ryan Helsley has been arguably the best reliever in baseball to begin the year, and while the last two seasons have been disappointing, this doesn’t feel like a complete shock giving the stuff he has. So far this season, Helsley’s fastball velo is up over a MPH (to 98.7) while he’s also throwing his secondaries more, leading to a ridiculous 47.4% Whiff rate over his first 6.1 innings of work. He and Genesis Cabrera seem pretty locked into the setup spots in St. Louis, so if Helsley is still available in your SV+HLD leagues, look into adding him now.

 

  • Steven Wilson has been one of the fastest risers on this list this year, and for good reason as the rookie reliever has already worked himself into a setup role within the first 10 innings of his MLB career. Injuries to multiple Padre relievers have been a factor in his rise, but he’s still taking advantage of the opportunities. Wilson doesn’t have a big upper 90’s fastball like a lot of the names high up on this list, but his slider has big-time swing and miss potential. He feels similar to Giovanny Gallegos almost in that regard.

 

  • Yankees Michael King looks like just another weapon in that bullpen full of them for Aaron Boone to choose from on a nightly basis. King’s stuff plays up big time out of the pen, and his sinker has an absurd amount of movement on it. For now, he seems like an early game, multi-inning option but with the way Jonathan Loaisiga has been struggling, perhaps we’ll see consistent hold chances for King moving forward.

 

  • Andrew Chafin returned from the IL this week and should be a name on your radar in holds leagues. The top two relievers in this bullpen seem pretty set in stone, but Chafin should give them that lefty reliever to turn to prior to Gregory Soto in the ninth.

 

  • The Rays bullpen, as predicted, has still been totally unpredictable but I wouldn’t have thought they would diminish some of their better relievers value. They really love to use their best relievers as openers, so J.P. Feyereisen and Matt Wisler have not had a ton of opportunities for holds in the past two weeks, with the two relievers only totaling 3 holds on the year so far. There’s upside here if they go back to their traditional roles, but for now, that’s up in the air.

 

  • Rafael Montero has been another surprise this early in the season, and perhaps the Astros have unlocked another reliever’s full potential here. With his fastball/changeup combo, he’s been used mostly as a lefty specialist, and with Brooks Raley gone, could be the top “lefty” reliever in their bullpen now. Whether or not that results in more holds going forward is still a question mark, however, even with Ryan Pressly out, he still only has two holds on the season.

 

Rank Pitcher Change
1Devin WilliamsT1-
2Diego Castillo-
3Jhoan Duran+UR
4Josh Staumont+8
5Ryan Tepera+3
6Will Smith
T2
-
7Art Warren+UR
8Kendall Graveman+2
9Aaron Bummer-4
10Clay Holmes+4
11Chad Green-2
12Jonathan Loáisiga-8
13Michael Fulmer+2
14Tyler Rogers+2
15Daniel Hudson-2
16Andrés Muñoz+10
17Ryan Helsley+21
18Tyler Matzek+6
19Seth Lugo+6
20Steven Wilson+22
21Michael King
T3
+48
22Seranthony Domínguez+9
23Brooks Raley-6
24Aaron Loup-3
25Tim Mayza-5
26Jake McGee+2
27Mychal Givens+10
28Hansel Robles+UR
29Jake Diekman-
30Andrew Chafin+UR
31Phil Maton-9
32Génesis Cabrera+17
33Brad Boxberger+2
34Collin McHugh-15
35Cole Sulser
T4
+18
36J.P. Feyereisen-13
37Matt Wisler-19
38Tanner Scott+10
39Trevor May-9
40Brusdar Graterol+6
41Yimi García+6
42Tyler Duffey+13
43A.J. Minter-7
44Rafael Montero+UR
45Luis García-6
46Dylan Floro+UR
47Lou Trivino+UR
48Adam Cimber+31
49Joely Rodríguez+9
50Alex Vesia
T5
-18
51Jake Cousins-18
52Anthony Gose-
53Drew Smith+13
54José Ruiz+UR
55Víctor Arano+15
56Tyler Kinley+17
57Trevor Stephan+UR
58Alex Lange+19
59Erik Swanson+UR
60Sam Hentges+UR
61Scott Effross+UR
62Amir Garrett-6
63Spencer Strider-23
64Dylan Coleman-23
65Wil Crowe+UR
66Brock Burke+UR
67Keegan Thompson+UR
68Nick Sandlin-34
69Adam Ottavino+17
70Brad Hand-8
71Drew Steckenrider
T6
-10
72Chris Martin+UR
73Joe Smith+UR
74Dinelson Lamet-24
75Mike Mayers-16
76José Alvarado-31
77A.J. Puk-10
78Trevor Richards-15
79Colin Poche+UR
80Jeffrey Springs+UR
81Jalen Beeks+UR
82Matt Festa+UR
83Jason Adam+UR
84Robert Suarez-30
85Julian Merryweather-9
86Ryne Stanek-29
87Jeurys Familia-6
88Kyle Finnegan-24
89Ryan Thompson-15
90Matt Bush+UR
91Miguel Castro-26
92Richard Bleier-32
93Anthony Bass+UR
94Noé Ramirez+UR
95Ian Kennedy-7
96Chris Stratton-7
97Dominic Leone-29
98Alex Colomé-26
99Tony Santillan-19
100Dillon Tate-10

 

Photo by Keith Gillett/Icon Sportswire | Adapted by Justin Paradis (@JustParaDesigns on Twitter)

Rick Graham

Rick resides in the Boston area and has experience as a player and coach at the collegiate level. He has been covering relievers for Pitcher List since 2017.

  • Bridog says:

    Where’s Anthony Bass?

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