Reliever Rankings: RotoGraphs Consensus

Consensus Ranks: OF, C, 1B, 2B, 3B, SS, and RP and SP.

Tiered Ranks: C, 1B, 2B, SS, 3B, NL OF, AL SP, NL SP, Holds.

The main hullabaloo will probably be about the relievers-turned-starters. There’s a bit of a damned-if-you-do damned-if-you-don’t thing going on. If you don’t rank the reliever/starters because they won’t be traditional relievers getting saves, then those pitchers will fall out of the player ranking universe for the most part. Most of them don’t have ‘starter’ eligibility. Add to that the difficulty of projecting a dominant reliever into a new role, and, well, you get a difficult situation. So that’s what happened with Matt Moore, Chris Sale, Daniel Bard, Neftali Feliz and Cory Luebke.

As for the traditional relievers, there’s a lot of agreement. Well, Zimmerman thinks the magic will run out for Mariano Rivera this year, Podhorzer hates Heath Bell, half of us thought J.J. Putz would stay healthy and half of us thought he’d crap out again, Zimmerman put Kenley Jansen right into the closer’s role while the rest of us were more cautious, and Carlos Marmol inspired some differing opinions.

The relievers!

Eno Sarris Mike Podhorzer Jeff Zimmerman Zach Sanders FanGraphs FantasyPros Icon
Player Name Eno
Sarris
Mike
Podhorzer
Jeff
Zimmerman
Zach
Sanders
Staff
Consensus
FantasyPros
All Experts
Craig Kimbrel 1 1 1 1 1 view
Jonathan Papelbon 2 5 2 8 2 view
Mariano Rivera 3 3 17 3 3 view
John Axford 7 4 6 9 3 view
Joel Hanrahan 9 8 8 4 4 view
Drew Storen 8 16 9 5 5 view
Ryan Madson 10 6 15 10 6 view
Rafael Betancourt 12 19 4 11 7 view
Heath Bell 11 17 13 6 8 view
Sergio Santos 13 11 10 16 9 view
J.J. Putz 18 7 19 7 10 view
Brian Wilson 16 14 11 17 11 view
Joakim Soria 15 10 12 23 12 view
Carlos Marmol 25 15 3 19 13 view
Cory Luebke 5 9 2 14 view
Jason Motte 20 22 16 12 15 view
Jordan Walden 14 23 21 13 16 view
Jose Valverde 21 21 18 15 17 view
Huston Street 19 18 20 18 17 view
Kenley Jansen 22 26 7 24 18 view
Matt Moore 4 2 28 19 view
Andrew Bailey 17 12 27 29 19 view
Neftali Feliz 26 34 5 21 20 view
Brandon League 24 25 24 14 21 view
Joe Nathan 23 20 23 31 22 view
Kyle Farnsworth 28 28 25 20 23 view
Chris Sale 6 24 27 24 view
Matt Thornton 32 13 14 56 25 view
Jim Johnson 29 31 26 36 26 view
Tyler Clippard 30 50 22 22 27 view
Mike Adams 31 29 38 32 28 view
Vinnie Pestano 38 33 34 26 29 view
Daniel Bard 27 27 37 30 view
Addison Reed 33 36 50 25 31 view
Jonny Venters 34 32 47 35 32 view
Grant Balfour 41 38 36 33 32 view
Chris Perez 37 35 29 59 33 view
Sergio Romo 44 46 30 34 34 view
Matt Capps 36 39 33 84 35 view
Frank Francisco 35 30 44 36 view
Javy Guerra 40 41 51 42 37 view
Koji Uehara 49 37 38 38 view
Sean Marshall 47 35 43 39 view
David Robertson 48 28 51 40 view
Alfredo Aceves 32 45 41 view
Fernando Salas 49 41 39 42 view
Felipe Paulino 30 43 view
Glen Perkins 40 41 43 view
Chris Resop 31 99 44 view
David Hernandez 39 44 53 45 view
Francisco Rodriguez 43 40 45 view
Rex Brothers 48 37 46 view
Fautino De Los Santos 42 44 90 47 view
Greg Holland 46 46 48 48 view
Carlos Villanueva 39 96 49 view
Sam LeCure 40 75 50 view
Wilton Lopez 42 59 79 51 view
Mark Melancon 42 69 51 view
Brian Fuentes 43 52 64 52 view
Joaquin Benoit 43 52 52 view
Andrew Cashner 45 50 53 view
David Carpenter 45 92 54 view
Antonio Bastardo 45 54 54 view
Aroldis Chapman 46 55 view
Kerry Wood 47 83 56 view
Matt Belisle 57 47 56 view
Edward Mujica 49 49 56 view
Nick Masset 48 87 57 view
Scott Downs 50 65 58 view

Fantasy Baseball Rankings powered by FantasyPros




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Graphs: Baseball, Roto, Beer, brats (OK, no graphs for that...yet), repeat. Follow him on Twitter @enosarris.


41 Responses to “Reliever Rankings: RotoGraphs Consensus”

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  1. Aaron says:

    You guys didn’t spend much time with this. Luebke and Moore are SP’s and I don’t see Brett Myers.

    Thoughts?

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    • Alex says:

      Relievers turned starters is explained in the second graph.

      But, you’re right. No Brett Myers listed here.

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    • juan pierres mustache says:

      this was pretty much explained in the opening…moore and luebke are currently RP or dual-eligibility in most formats, and myers only qualifies as an SP to start the season. it looks like everyone except jeff was strictly going by current eligibility in their rankings. the one ranking that confuses me is zach putting matt moore at 28–i can understand not ranking him among RPs, but it’s hard to see how he’s not top 5 at an absolute minimum on this list if you are going to rank him.

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  2. Steve says:

    Frank Francisco is the Mets closers and btw…..he’s pretty good. Was unfairly removed quickly from the closer role in Texas in favor of Feliz two years ago. He’s been a little unlucky at times, but still has good stuff. I don’t see any competition for that job.

    He’s ranked 36th, and was unranked by one voter? Gimme a break.

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    • EarlSweatshirt says:

      Agreed, Francisco is way too low. Decent job security due to lack of options, and he’s better than a lot of the guys ahead of him. Matt Capps? Really?

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  3. Aaron says:

    Yea im an idiot about the Moore and Leubke comment, I didn’t read the first few grafs, I went straight to the list.

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  4. Kevin says:

    I think Zimmerman was ranking on something other than baseball ability.

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  5. Kevin says:

    Ha! I like the comments. As if these guys who write 5-10 articles about fantasy baseball a week 365 days a year don’t know that Matt Moore and Cory Luebke are starting pitchers.

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  6. philosofool says:

    I can’t believe you guys let me see your pictures.

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  7. Big Baby says:

    I don’t know why this would be the year Mo gets old. Its his last year, he’ll probably throw like he’s 25 again, not give up a run, and walk off into the sunset as cherubs sing a heart melting rendition of “Enter Sandman.”

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  8. wily mo says:

    i have read the second paragraph, and i still think putting SPs like moore and luebke in these rankings is dumb. i understand the eligibility thing. but they’ll get SP eligibility after a few minutes, and nobody’s actually debating whether to draft matt moore or sergio santos. i mean maybe they are, but not as similar commodities.

    it just makes the rankings harder to look at and think about. it’s distracting without being useful.

    they wouldn’t fall out of the ranking universe if you just made an executive decision to put them in the SP rankings. you can make a note of the fact that they’ll be dual eligible or RP-only for the first couple weeks. but you could do it. the police wouldn’t come. it’s your website. you can do whatever you want.

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    • wily mo says:

      for the record i feel the same way about putting napoli and santana in the 1B rankings. yes, they’re eligible there, but… who cares

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    • wily mo says:

      and finally let me just say that i feel like the fact that luebke somehow wound up ranked higher than moore kind of proves my point here. what do those rankings even mean? nothing. literally nothing at all. they convey zero useful information, literally.

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      • chris weinmann says:

        I completely agree with you. Rank starting pitchers with starters and relievers with relievers. And you’re right about Napoli, too. Who cares? The positional eligibility might theoretically come in handy, but no one in their right mind would draft him to play 1B. This is supposed to help people with their drafts, right?

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      • 23113223123 says:

        srsly zach sanders got luebke @ 2 and moore @ 28

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  9. chris weinmann says:

    I read the opening paragraphs, and I still think it’s ridiculous to put guys like Sale and Bard and Luebke onto this list (or leave them out of the list of SPs). When I draft, I’m drafting for the season, not for the first week of eligibility. They’re going to be starters, not relievers, and that’s where they should be ranked.

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    • wily mo says:

      it is very difficult to see why anyone, anywhere would not agree with this

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      • chris weinmann says:

        My specific problem is that in the next few days (we draft over about a month-long period), I’m going to be faced with the decision whether to draft all three of those guys. I’d really like hear how people think they’re going to be. As to Luebke, I think we have a decent idea. As to Bard and Sale, I really don’t know. I’d love some guidance on that.

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  10. Bryan says:

    is this ranking based on Saves and holds too? (I am sure the saves mean they are more valuable) or Ks, WHIP, ERA, BAA? Because in my league we put holds and saves together and added the BAA category. I like the “hold” aspect of fantasy because you can manage actually manage your bullpen more realistically and not just throw a crappy closer in because he might get saves. I would rather have a better setup man than a shitty closer.

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  11. Just to respond to the comments and putting Sale, Moore, etc on this list…

    the problem is that Yahoo ONLY gives them RP eligibility. They are not SP eligibile right now and so the tool at FantasyPros will not allow us to rank them with the starters. They either get ranked as RPs or don’t get ranked at all. So, pick your poison!

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    • taprat says:

      I guess if you’re beholden to the tool at FantasyPros, that’s the way it goes. I do think it’s basically worthless to do it this way. Maybe when you do the Starter rankings, you could let us know in the intro what you think of those guys.

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      • dave_fantasypros says:

        Eno did a good job of explaining the exclusions in his intro. We’re definitely looking at ways to make things more flexible in the future and this feedback is very helpful.

        I think it’s a little harsh to call the rankings worthless though. The expert’s opinions about the relative value of the players listed in the rankings are still valid. Yank out Luebke, Moore, and Sale, and Eno still likes Riviera over Axford. That’s easy to see in the rankings.

        It would definitely be cool to know where these expected starters would be drafted among the SP’s. There are also some interesting draft strategy questions that come up given how sites like Yahoo work off of current eligibility, not expected eligibility.

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      • taprat says:

        I wasn’t saying the rankings themselves are worthless. Just worthless as they relate to Bard, Luebke and Sale. Sorry for the miscommunication there.

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  12. Rafael Soriano says:

    Ummm, guys? I get hurt for one year and I’m no longer a relevant player on a team that should win 90+ games? Especially with Mr. Robertson’s mysterious foot injury!?

    Let’s not forget, the only reason he was the 8th inning guy was because I let him be last yer – he’s just returning the favor this time around!

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  13. jordy says:

    LOL at Rivera as the 17th ranked RP. Honestly just stupid.

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  14. Eric says:

    Why are Mr. Zimmerman’s picks are so far out of line? Or, stated another way, why was Frankie Frank not worthy of his list, but Nick Masset made the cut?

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  15. Jeff Zimmerman says:

    I based my ranking 100% off of projections. I will go more in detail later, but will give a quick summary here.

    The problem with Relievers is the Saves category. I thought The Fans would have a better idea of who would be closers vice using projections based on the previous year’s numbers. I may have to change my values to some like 50% Fans, 10% for each of the other 5 systems. For example, here are 3 pitchers I seem to have off (I don’t even consider Wins in my formula):

    Name: Saves (Fans),WHIP(average),Ks(average),ERA(average)
    Marmol: 44,1.33,96.0,3.31
    Betancourt: 36,1.04,69.5,2.87
    Rivera: 36,1.03,52.8,2.61

    Marmol’s Save value. from the Fans, and Ks are off the charts.

    With Betancourt, his stats work out to almost be the same as Rivera’s, but with more K’s.

    On Fancisco, I for some reason did not run the numbers on him. I will update him soon.

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  16. 23113223123 says:

    the guy got luebke ranked so high yet moore @28… lol at that.

    zach sanders is a tool.

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  17. dcracker says:

    Put Jonny Venters on the list of people ranked too low. In his case, WAY too low.

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  18. Zac says:

    I can only assume that this whole series is a paid tie-in with FantasyPros, because otherwise I don’t know why you even bother continuing it given all the hate that has come from it.

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  19. jimbo says:

    As much as I don’t like the hatin, seems this year fangraphs is going quantity over quality. So much to read through, not so much value. Love the stats and tools still!

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  20. Jason says:

    Perhaps job security is being undervalued by some here. I imagine guys like Betancourt and Santos are going to be on a much shorter leash than Bell and Wilson. Bell and Wilson seem like locks to stay in the role and get ~40 saves if they are healthy, but Betancourt and Santos could be yanked at any time after a few blown saves.

    With the limited innings that RPs give us, I’m not interested in putting also those saves at risk for better ratios.

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    • Ryan says:

      Even if Wilson is healthy I don’t see him getting 40+ saves. I don’t think the Giants are going to give him a huge workload this season and risk injury. Plus, there is just no reason to give Wilson a huge amount of innings this year with how loaded the Giants’ pen is right now. Romo and Casilla are both studs and more than capable of taking on the mantle of closer. Affeldt and Lopez are even capable as well.

      I mean, the first sign of any sort of soreness for Wilson and I could see the Giants shutting him down for a week, maybe even throwing him on the DL just to be safe.

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  21. Ryan says:

    I know this is for fantasy baseball but even then how can anyone put Rivera 17th? That’s just asinine. Last year, Rivera was fourth among relievers and the season before that he “had a down year” and dropped to 7 due to the fact he had a low season K total. Rivera is a lock for 60+IP, 35+ saves (Probably a lot more this season due to the Yankees improved rotation), a whip below 1.00 (He’s average for the past four seasons is 0.82) and a below 2.00 ERA (1.71 ERA for past four seasons). It’s not like Rivera’s skills are declining, either. His cutter averaged 91.6MPH last season, up from the previous two seasons where he averaged 91.3 and 91.1MPH. Barring injury, which also isn’t likely since Rivera has only pitched under 60 innings once in his career, which was all the way back in 2002 when he threw 46 innings, Rivera is basically a lock to be a top five reliever in fantasy.

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