(Photo by Shelley Lipton/Icon Sportswire)
We featured the Top 25 Catchers, Top 30 First Basemen, Top 30 Second Basemen, Top 30 Shortstops, Top 30 Third Basemen, Top 30 Outfielders, Top 60 Outfielders, Top 90 Outfielders, Top 30 Starting Pitchers, Top 60 Starting Pitchers, and Top 90 Starting Pitchers in dynasty leagues so far this week — today, the final day, we cover relief pitchers.
My guiding principals in ranking relief pitchers are (1) production now (2) age. Outside of the top 10, there is too much uncertainty to soundly make predictions for 2019, never mind 2022. These rankings reflect who can produce now and who will likely produce over the next several years. I do not hold much stock with investing in closers, especially in dynasty. I think their best value is in making great trade pieces from a non-competitive team to a competitive team as so many of these positions turnover year-to-year (for reference, here were PitcherList’s Top 50 Relief Pitcher rankings last year).
Tier One: Elite
1. Kenley Jansen (Los Angeles Dodgers, 30)
2. Craig Kimbrel (Boston Red Sox, 29)
3. Aroldis Chapman (New York Yankees, 30)
Tier Two: Longevity
4. Ken Giles (Houston Astros, 27)
5. Roberto Osuna (Toronto Blue Jays, 23)
6. Corey Knebel (Milwaukee Brewers, 25)
7. Felipe Rivero (Pittsburgh Pirates, 26)
8. Raisel Iglesias (Cincinnati Reds, 28)
9. Edwin Diaz (Seattle Mariners, 24)
10. Cody Allen (Cleveland Indians, 29)
Tier Three: Firesale
11. Brad Hand (San Diego Padres, 27)
12. Sean Doolittle (Washington Nationals, 31)
13. Wade Davis (Colorado Rockies, 32)
14. Zach Britton (Baltimore Orioles, 30)
15. Mark Melancon (San Francisco Giants, 33)
16. Hector Neris (Philadelphia Phillies, 28)
17. Alexander Colome (Tampa Bay Rays, 29)
18. Kelvin Herrera (Kansas City Royals, 28)
19. Greg Holland (Free Agent, 32)
20. Jeurys Familia (New York Mets, 28)
Tier Four: Better than the Alternatives
21. Blake Treinen (Oakland Athletics, 29)
22. Blake Parker (Los Angeles Angels, 32)
23. Arodys Vizcaino (Atlanta Braves, 27)
24. Brad Brach (Baltimore Orioles, 32)
25. Brandon Morrow (Chicago Cubs, 33)
26. Luke Gregerson (St. Louis Cardinals, 33)
27. Alex Reyes (St. Louis Cardinals, 23)
28. Josh Hader (Milwaukee Brewers, 23)
29. Andrew Miller (Cleveland Indians, 32)
30. Dellin Betances (New York Yankees, 30)
31. Archie Bradley (Arizona Diamondbacks, 25)
32. Shane Greene (Detroit Tigers, 29)
33. Kyle Barraclough (Miami Marlins, 27)
34. Addison Reed (Minnesota Twins, 29)
35. Fernando Rodney (Minnesota Twins, 40)
36. Alex Claudio (Texas Rangers, 26)
37. Brad Boxburger (Arizona Diamondbacks, 29)
Tier Five: Everyone Else
38. Keone Kela (Texas Rangers, 24)
39. Nate Jones (Chicago White Sox, 32)
40. Joakim Soria (Chicago White Sox, 33)
41. Carl Edwards Jr. (Chicago Cubs, 26)
42. Brendon Maurer (Kansas City Royals, 27)
43. Chris Devenski (Houston Astros, 27)
44. Brad Ziegler (Miami Marlins, 38)
45. Cam Bedrosian (Lost Angeles Angels, 26)
46. Tyler Lyons (St. Louis Cardinals, 30)
47. Tony Watson (San Francisco Giants, 32)
48. David Robertson (New York Yankees, 32)
49. AJ Ramos (New York Mets, 31)
50. Juan Minaya (Chicago White Sox, 27)
- Tier One is heavy on who is the best of the best in 2018. All three are still young enough to keep up their elite production. No question.
- Tier Two is heavy on younger relievers who will likely remain as closers regardless of what team they’re pitching for – these are the “safe” pick at the position. I would imagine that Roberto Osuna makes the leap this year from Tier Two to Tier One.
- Tier Three gets murky – these are all closers and many will likely keep their roles, but there begins a degree of risk to each of these picks.
- Tier Four distilled by Yoda. Some of these players may be closers, most might be setup men, but because these are dynasty rankings – I see a future where one day the talent of Josh Hader allows him a closing spot.
- Tier Five could slip into a role this year or they could just provide elite support. Feel like investing if you want, there are few guarantees.
I’ll be making notes in each of my rankings for players/situations/choices worth noting — if there is something specific you wish to discuss regarding the ranks — drop a comment.