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Craig Kimbrel
Birthdate: 5/28/1988 (28 y, 9 m, 26 d)     Bats/Throws: R/R     Height/Weight: 6-0/205     Position: P
Drafted: 2008 June Amateur Draft - Round: 3, Pick: 19, Overall: 96, Team: Atlanta Braves
Contract: $42M / 4 Years (2014 - 2017) + 1 Option Years
Reported: 3/31/2015  Risk: NA  ETA: NA  Team Rank: NA  Positional Rank: NA  Overall Rank: NA
FastballCurveballCommandFuture Value
80 / 8070 / 7050 / 5060
RotoWire News: Kimbrel pitched a perfect inning Thursday against the Pirates, striking out two batters. (3/17/2017)
Profiles:  2011  2012  2013  2014  2015  2016  2017  (Click Year to Expand / Close)
Profile: It's hard to be a very good reliever for a very long time. Craig Kimbrel is a perfect example of this. After being a 2+ WAR reliever for the first four full seasons of his big league career, Kimbrel settled into a lower ceiling the past two seasons - tallying 1.5 WAR with the Padres in 2015 and 1.2 WAR with the Red Sox in 2016. The latter figure would be closer to the former if not for the near-month that Kimbrel missed following knee surgery, but the point remains that Kimbrel is now among the best instead of being the best. Among the best is still pretty damn good though. Steamer projects very few relievers to be worth 1.5 WAR or better, and rightfully so. Only 22 relievers turned the trick last year, and many of them — Christopher Devenski, Kyle Barraclough, Brad Brach and Matt Bush to name just a few — were not guys who were thought of as elite relievers at this time last year. Heading into this season, the FanGraphs depth charts (which are powered for most of the offseason solely by Steamer) projects just seven American League relievers to be worth 1.5 WAR or better - Dellin Betances, Zach Britton, Aroldis Chapman, Edwin Diaz, Ken Giles, Andrew Miller and Kimbrel. That's a short list, and the National League list is even shorter (just Wade Davis, Kenley Jansen and, surprisingly, Grant Dayton). So, yeah, Kimbrel does walk a lot of batters - a career-high 13.6% last season, though there was an uptick in his walk rate when he came back from his knee injury that may prove related to said injury. And yeah, he doesn't strike out as many guys as he used to. But Kimbrel is still pretty damn good. Don't forget about him on draft day.

The Quick Opinion: Kimbrel is no longer in the running for best closer in the game, but he's still easily ensconced in the top 10. If you land him, you'll want to plan to land a low-walk reliever to pair him with, but don't let that stop you from grabbing him on draft day.

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