The provisional prices of stable sources of savings have increased in 2022 compared to the last two years. We should see those prices drop a bit as free agents find homes and situations in places like Los Angeles (NL), San Diego and Boston become clearer, but it becomes clear that the going price for good closers has increased a bit. in 2022. This means the ability to find sources of saves in later rounds has become an essential part of building a winning roster. Here are three standard league sleepers and three deeper sleepers whose value could be realized late this year or sometime next year.
Drew Pomeranz/Pierce Johnson (SD)
2021 Stats (Pomeranz): 25.2 IP, 1.75 ERA, 1.13 WHIP, 29K%, 10BB%
ADP: 630 (Includes Draft Champions and FAAB leagues since NFBC Jan. 1)
2021 stats (Johnson): 58.2 IP, 3.22 ERA, 1.26 WHIP, 32K%, 11 BB%
What is the probability that Craig Kimbrel is traded to San Diego? If you think it’s less than likely, you should jump at the chance to pair Drew Pomeranz and Pierre Johnson to corner the market on a team that should be a decent source of saves. With Pomeranz set to start the year on the IL as he continues to recover from a torn flexor tendon, Johnson is an obvious stopgap given his success over the past two seasons if the Padres stay in their enclosed. If you draft Johnson with one of your end-of-round picks, why not grab Pomeranz with your end-of-round pick and the IL right away to get two lottery tickets for the price of one? If Johnson excels and holds the role, congratulations, you just got a solid RP2 with your final draft pick, an increasingly difficult feat if this year’s early ADP drafts are any indication. If he’s struggling, drop him in May when Pomeranz returns and you can join Padres fans in performing all the unholy rituals you can think of to keep Pomeranz healthy. In the current state of the draft, there are no better opportunities to snag saves with your latest picks. It might seem like a lot to use two picks on the Padres relievers who weren’t named closest, but you essentially get that pick back by putting Pomeranz on the IL and can quickly adjust and add the spring training escapes hottest if the Padres bring home a guy like Kimbrel. This flexibility is an underestimated asset at the start of the season. It’s a low-risk, high-reward game that you can pass judgment on quickly and is exactly what you want to be looking for at the end of your drafts.
Lucas Sims (CIN)
2021 Stats: 47 IP, 4.40 ERA, 1.11 WHIP, 39K%, 9BB%
Armed with two effective bursting balls and loads of untapped spin potential, Lucas Sims is already starting to climb the drawing boards as the lifter market becomes increasingly competitive. He’s currently the 24th RP on the board by NFBC, and I think he’ll move up the draft boards even higher in March. His potential is exorbitant with that already nasty K-rate, but his low spin efficiency numbers (55% on curveball and 35% on slider) suggest potential for further improvement. He also improved as the year progressed, finishing the year with 21Ks and walking over a 1.54 ERA in his final 11.2 runs, hinting he may already be starting to exploit this potential. If the job was clearly his, he would be a surefire pick that I would put in the top 15 closest with the potential to break into the top 10 by the end of the season. Sadly, the Reds are coming off a tumultuous year in their bullpen, where the save team leader only got 8. Total. For the whole season. It’s hard to trust the Sims given how he started last year or the Reds given how they used their bullpen. If you’re looking for an upside down game with your RP2, this should be your man.
Taylor Rogers (MIN)
2021 Stats: 40.1 IP, 3.35 ERA, 1.14 WHIP, 35K%, 5BB%
Taylor Roger’s The current draft price reflects fears that it will be moved mid-season or even before the start of the season. Without that concern, I think he’s getting closer to the top 12. He’s been nothing short of an excellent pitcher for the past five years and is currently in a decent situation. The Twins may not be a winning team next year, but they’re a solid bet for 75 wins – enough to give a good closer the chance to make 30 saves, like Rogers did in 2019 Even though Rogers struggled with some injury issues last year, it was the first stint in IL of his major league career, and he still put up solid numbers. It would be prudent to monitor the condition of his finger as we head into spring training, but I’m still assuming his durability will win out. If we consider the work as a whole, we have a fairly durable close who has been consistently above average for the past five seasons and is squarely on the front line for team saves. Even if he’s traded at the deadline, I’m going to take the solid production for the first two-thirds of the season, after that I’ll see where I’m at (Granted, I play almost exclusively roto, so that kind of state of mind may not seem as appealing to H2H players out there). Considering his past performance, his team background and how draft prices are going for closers this year, he’s a guy who should go up 50 points. That’s not to mention the indications that Rogers is improving. His swinging strike rate of 12.8% last year was a career high, which propelled him to a career-best 35% strike rate. His career-high o-swing percentage (how often the batter swings on pitches out of the box) and career-low z-contact percentage (how often the hitter makes contact with throws in the zone) suggest improving deception in his offerings, while his career-high first-strike percentage and walk rate consistently below 5% indicate strong control over his throws. There’s a lot to love about Rogers’ trajectory as a pitcher. You’re unlikely to find anyone else with this combination of consistency, durability and job security after the 200 pick, especially given the prices people are paying for closures so far this year. . He’s currently the 20th RP on the chart, but I’d be happy to pair him with a low-end RP1 like Jordan Romano Where Giovanni Gallegos if I am priced off the highest closing level and want to spend that preliminary capital elsewhere.
Dylan Coleman (KC)
2021 Stats (MiLB): 57.2 IP, 3.28 ERA, 1.04 WHIP, 40K%, 10BB%
2021 stats (MLB): 6.1 IP, 1.42 ERA, 0.95 WHIP, 28K%, 4BB%
Dylan Colman saw a huge speed rebound in 2021, averaging 96-100mph throughout the season and averaging 98.2mph on the 65 fastballs he threw into his coffee cup at the end of the year. His slider has also improved greatly, giving him another tool to turn to when batters are setting up for his fastball. The combination of these two factors made 2021 a huge breakthrough for Coleman and he’s all but locked into making the team in 2022. If he maintains that speed improvement and stays consistent with his slider, he’ll move quickly to the third option in KC. behind Scott Barlow and Josh Staumont. As Barlow moves closer and closer to free agency, Coleman could soon find himself at an impasse with Staumont to be crowned closer to the future. Take a look at this slider and tell me who your money is on.
Andrés Munoz (SEA)
2021 Stats (MiLB): 3.2 IP, 4.91 ERA, 0.55 WHIP, 54K%, 8 BB%
2021 Stats (MLB): 0.2 IP, 0.00 ERA, 3.00 WHIP, 25K%, 50BB%
Injuries cost him most of the 2 years, but Andrés Munoz is back. A highly touted prospect with an 80 fastball, Muñoz wasted no time in his brief comeback last year throwing four pitches over 100 mph in his lone appearance, including this one at 101.
He’s in a crowded Seattle paddock with Paul Sewald, Drew Steckenrider, Diego Castillo, and Ken Gilles all make valid claims for backups, but Muñoz is good enough to make a name for himself anyway. He’s also still very young (23 as of Jan 16) and could easily outlast all those guys on the team.
jovaNor Moran (MIN)
2021 Stats (MiLB): 67.1 IP, 2.41 ERA, 0.89 WHIP, 42K%, 12 BB%
2021 stats (MLB): 8 IP, 7.88 ERA, 2.00 WHIP, 26K%, 18BB%
It’s not a name you’ll see on many lists yet, but Jovani Moran had potentially the nastiest change in all of minor league baseball last year. While the performance didn’t immediately translate into MLB success during his short stint at the end of the year, there are at least a few nuggets he can hopefully build on. First, his strike rate over his eight short innings was 16.7 percent, tied with the league’s top relievers. Given a longer stay in the majors, I think we would have seen this K-rate climb to more than 30%. Second, his change was as good as expected. He threw it 76 times in total and generated 19 swing strikes (25%) and allowed just five balls in play. Only one of those batted balls went for a hit – a single hit by Cam Gallagher. It’s a small sample size, yes, but when you have a pitch that’s this dominant, I tend to think it’s a good bet that they can find a way to exploit it. There are still many questions about Moran. Can he take out right-handers regularly enough? Can his fastball evolve into medium ground? However, he’s probably free in all but the deepest dynasty leagues and has, in my opinion, just as much chance of succeeding. Taylor Rogers like anyone, including Jorge Alcala. Tell me, how many people have done this Marcus Semien Last year?
(Photo by John Jones/Icon Sportswire) adapted by Shawn Palmer (@Palmerguyboston on Twitter)