|Profile: If you were to poll the league asking who were the most dominant relievers of 2016, it’s unlikely Barraclough’s name would rise to the top, but sorting by strikeout percentage (37%) the 26-year old Marlins righty reliever sits nicely at #4 (his 14.0 strikeouts per nine ranked 3rd in baseball), just behind Andrew Miller, Dellin Betances, and Kenley Jansen. That trio of elite relievers is certainly good company, but only Barraclough can take credit among that group for giving up just one long ball last year, helping tie for first (minimum 60 inn.) with Jeurys Familia for the lowest home run per nine innings (0.12) among all relievers in the game. Clearly, Barraclough has nasty stuff (his 95.5 mph average fastball speed helped hitters make contact just 66% of the time, and his slider generated a 21% swinging strike rate), but it’s possible many leagues failed to notice his dominance early in the season because of his one fatal flaw: walks. In his first 21 IP of 2016, he walked 18 and gave up 17 hits, leading to an unsightly 1.67 WHIP. His 6.7 walks per nine innings in 2015 (small sample of 24.1 IP) didn’t offer much hope for a breakout, either, but a turnaround is exactly what happened: in his final 51.2 IP, he walked just 26, gave up 28 hits, and closed out that stretch with a 1.05 WHIP, a significant improvement over the start of his season. Barraclough finished with 29 holds and as one of the bigger reliever breakouts of the year, so he clearly has the talent to close games in Miami if given the opportunity. That opportunity might be limited, however, as Barraclough would have to rise through the ranks of a veteran Marlins bullpen that includes A.J. Ramos, Brad Ziegler, Junichi Tazawa, and potentially David Phelps. (Trey Baughn)|
The Quick Opinion: The "bear-claw" was a waiver wire gem last year in leagues that score holds, but even without them his strong contribution in strikeouts (113 in 72.2 IP) should put him on the radar in almost all leagues. Barraclough's youth, limited innings, and ability to correct his control midway through last season offer optimism for continued dominance, and should he find his way to the very back end of the Marlins bullpen, he could quickly become one of the most valuable fantasy relievers in the game.