Player Poll: Best Closer in Baseball
This week’s Player Poll question asks who the best closer in baseball is. Here are my picks for the top five best closers in baseball at this moment:
1. Craig Kimbrel (ATL)
His fastball-slider combo is the best of any reliever in baseball in my opinion. The reason why I think he is the best closer in baseball right now is because he has pinpoint accuracy on his slider. The accuracy of his off-speed pitches makes his fastball just that much more dominating. I look at WHIP very closely when looking at closers, and Kimbrel’s (0.67) is the best in baseball amongst pitchers with more than 22 saves. If I needed three outs, there is no one else I would feel more comfortable handing the ball to than this young gun.
2. Fernando Rodney (TB)
This season, Rodney has been a bit of a surprise to most baseball fans, but he is showing this year that he is a major force in the 9th. He leads the league in saves and he has by far the lowest ERA (0.79) of any closer in baseball. Maybe it’s the fresh start he got in Tampa Bay or the magic of the arrow that he shoots after each save, but Rodney has developed into one of the game’s most reliable and dominant closers.
3. Aroldis Chapman (CIN)
Most people would just automatically put Chapman at #1 on this list simply based on his ability to throw the ball 100+ MPH with regularity. However, velocity must be coupled with accuracy in order for a closer to be most effective. As great as Chapman has been this season, he has been quite erratic with his location at times. With that said, I cannot imagine any left-hander on the planet who looks forward to an AB with that young man.
4. Joel Hanrahan (PIT)
He is a no-frills closer who simply goes about his business. He is a steadying force at the back of the bullpen that has been a key part of the Pirates’ franchise turnaround. He is arguably the most consistent closer on this list, and he has been for several years now.
5. Jason Motte (STL)
The craziest part about this fireballer is that his best is still in front of him. People have to remember that he just started pitching a few years ago when he was converted from being a catcher. He has just started incorporating effective secondary pitches into his repertoire over the past couple of seasons. By the way, anyone who can get the last three outs in game seven of the World Series is pretty good in my book.
Don’t forget to watch #PlayerPoll on FOX at 3:00pm EST this Saturday to see who the players and fans think are the best closers in baseball. Also, tweet your picks for best closer to @MLBFanCave and @KyleOKC using the hash tag #MLBFC.