Top 10 Right Now – Relief Pitchers

Considering the amount of players at the position and variance from season to season, it would probably easier to do a top 15.  That’s not the name of the series, however, so we’re sticking with the top 10 format for relievers.

A new list will be published each Monday leading up to pitchers and catchers reporting in February. The lists will highlight the Top 10 players at each position, managers and executives, finishing up with the Ultimate Top 10 list, a ranking of each of the position’s number one player.

Here’s a list of what’s to come and already been published:
Nov. 12 – Executives
Nov. 19 – Managers
Nov. 26 – Catchers
Dec. 3 – Left Fielders
Dec. 10 – First Basemen
Dec. 17 – Starting Pitchers
Dec. 24 – Designated Hitters
Dec. 31 – Third Basemen
Jan. 7 – Right Fielders
Jan. 14 – Relief Pitchers
Jan. 21 – Second Basemen
Jan. 28 – Center Fielders
Feb. 4 – Shortstops
Feb. 11 – Ultimate Top 10

Below are two lists, one (“Statistical”) shows players ranked per a combination of their 2018 stats and where they ranked in those stats per their respective position. Several different stats are included in the calculations, but “stat-heads” will be happy to know we don’t consider wins.  The second (“Adjusted”) list is based on stats but then given adjustments based on track record, injuries and projections and reflects our ranking of the players as they head into 2019.

2018 Statistical Top 10
10. Jeremy Jeffress, Milwaukee Brewers
9. Trevor May, Minnesota Twins
8. Taylor Cole, Los Angeles Angels
7. Aroldis Chapman, New York Yankees
6. Oliver Perez, Free Agent
5. Jose LeClerc, Texas Rangers
4. Blake Treinen, Oakland Athletics
3. Sean Doolittle, Washington Nationals
2. Edwin Diaz, New York Mets
1. Josh Hader, Milwaukee Brewers

Adjusted Top 10
T-10. Ryan Pressly, Houston Astros
T-10. Jeremy Jeffress, Milwakuee Brewers
9. Craig Kimbrel, Free Agent
8. Jose Alvarado, Tampa Bay Rays
7. Sean Doolittle, Washington Nationals
6. Jose LeClerc, Texas Rangers
5. Aroldis Chapman, New York Yankees
4. Kenley Jansen, Los Angeles Dodgers
3. Blake Treinen, Oakland Athletics
2. Josh Hader, Milwaukee Brewers
1. Edwin Diaz, New York Mets

In consideration (with their rank from last year’s list): Andrew Miller (3), Roberto Osuna (4), Corey Knebel (9), Zach Britton (10), May, Dellin Betances, Adam Ottavino, Jeurys Familia, Jordan Hicks, Craig Stammen, Hector Neris, Brad Hand, Kirby Yates, Taylor Rogers, Chad Green, Felipe Vazquez, Corbin Burnes

Notes: I think Hader ran out of gas due to over-usage so a little concerned about how he’ll respond this season… Jansen has been so good for so long, thinking he’ll bounce back… LeClerc has increased his K/9 in each of his first three seasons… Alvarado had a huge season for Tampa… not yet ready to write off Kimbrel… believing in Pressly with Houston who has proven to turn pitchers’ careers around… Miller can rebound with health… Knebel looked like he found it again at the end of the season… Hicks needs to harness that velocity… Stammen was fifth in reliever-WAR among our qualifiers… Green could probably make a case to be on the list this season… with Burnes, Milwaukee has four relievers on or considered for this list (same goes for the Yankees).

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