by Nick Hutcherson
If you read this column last week, you can note that two of the five names mentioned are sitting in closer’s roles now. Joaquin Benoit was anointed the Phillies closer on Monday over Hector Neris (though that’s now in question, after Neris got the save on Thursday). Matt Bush is also likely in the saves mix for the Rangers after Sam Dyson was demoted from the role Tuesday night following yet another blown save (and ultimately landed on the DL).
Three to grab
1) Carter Capps- San Diego Padres
Capps is due to come off the DL in the next week or so and has all the skills to become a fantasy difference maker. Make no mistake, Brandon Maurer isn’t exactly lighting the world on fire as the Padres closer currently and his days are likely numbered with the uber talented Capps set to return.
2) Archie Bradley- Arizona Diamondbacks
Bradley’s career renaissance is in full revival now as the once top prospect has found his niche in the bullpen. Arizona is in desperate need of a dominant arm to anchor the bullpen, and I believe they have found that in Bradley. Fernando Rodney doesn’t have many arrows left in his bow, and Bradley is going to be coming for his job in a hurry. If you don’t make the move now, it will soon be too late. The fallback is that he stays in his current role and moves up into the Delin Betances/Andrew Miller mold of dominant reliever.
3) Chris Devenski- Houston Astros
On the off-chance that Devenski is still hanging out there in your league, grab him now. He isn’t likely to be in the saves conversations any time soon (despite getting a seven-out save on Thursday), but the work he is doing out of the ‘pen is difference-making. He is currently carrying a strikeout rate near 18! That is due for a bit of a regression, but if he holds that rate near 14 and gives you good innings all year you will be counting your lucky chickens that he is pitching for you!
Two to watch
1) Ryan Buchter- San Diego Padres
Carter Capps is the oe to own in San Diego initially for saves. However he is coming off Tommy John Surgery and it isn’t always a smooth transition back. If Capps isn’t the same guy that he was pre-Tommy John Surgery, Buchter could well be in line to assume the role from Maurer. If you are speculating on saves and Capps is owned, take a shot on Buchter for a few weeks, see how Capps responds to his return to the majors and you just might get lucky. If you chose the prospecting for saves route, this is the routine you have to go through all season long. Find the most talented guy in every bullpen and roll them through your roster as the respective closers go through struggles. You will strike gold a few times.
2) Drew Storen- Cincinnati Reds
Don’t look now but Storen is showing signs of the pitcher who dominated for the Nationals. The Reds are running out the oddest compilation of a closer committee that I have seen in some years, but if someone like Storen can emerge as the horse at the back end the Reds may well use Raisel Iglesias in the role they seem to be envisioning. That role is more as a multi-inning pitcher who can work through the meat of the order late in games.
Make sure to check out our Preseason 2017 Prospect Rankings:
|Top 50 Prospects||1-50|
|Right Handed Pitchers:||1-10||11-20|
|Left Handed Pitchers:||1-10|