Closing Time 4/21: Ranking The Top 45 Closers Every Thursday

Closers broken down into tiers based on skill, competition/opportunity/job security, and injury risk. It’s a mixture of short and long term value with a bit more weight placed on the...

Closers broken down into tiers based on skill, competition/opportunity/job security, and injury risk. It’s a mixture of short and long term value with a bit more weight placed on the long haul.

The Tuesday holds piece puts more weight on the pure hold tally while these rankings don’t necessarily consider save totals within specific tiers. Obviously there are more fluid bullpen situations and the path to saves is tighter, but when ranking arms with jobs there is more weight placed on ability than how many save opps a team will have.

As always I’m happy to answer any questions in the comments. Check back every Thursday for updated closer/save rankings.


1A. Kenley Jansen (Los Angeles Dodgers)

1B. Wade Davis (Kansas City Royals)

3. Craig Kimbrel (Boston Red Sox)

4. Zach Britton (Baltimore Orioles)


5. Jeurys Familia (New York Mets)

6. Aroldis Chapman (New York Yankees)

7. Mark Melancon (Pittsburgh Pirates)

8. David Robertson (Chicago White Sox)

9. Trevor Rosenthal (St. Louis Cardinals)

10. Roberto Osuna (Toronto Blue Jays)

11. Cody Allen (Cleveland Indians)

12. Hector Rondon (Chicago Cubs)


13. A.J. Ramos (Miami Marlins)

14. Luke Gregerson (Houston Astros)

15. Huston Street (Los Angeles Angels)

16. Arodys Vizcaino (Atlanta Braves)

17. Jonathan Papelbon (Washington Nationals)

18. Francisco Rodriguez (Detroit Tigers)


19. Santiago Casilla (San Francisco Giants)

20. Brad Ziegler (Arizona Diamondbacks)

21. Jeremy Jeffress (Milwaukee Brewers)

22. Jake McGee (Colorado Rockies)

23. Alex Colome (Tampa Bay Rays)


24. Andrew Miller (New York Yankees)

25. Kevin Jepsen (Minnesota Twins

26. Jeanmar Gomez (Philadelphia Phillies)

27. Ryan Madson (Oakland Athletics)

28. Shawn Tolleson (Texas Rangers)

29. Steve Cishek (Seattle Mariners)

30. Fernando Rodney (San Diego Padres)


31. Sean Doolittle (Oakland Athletics)

32. Glen Perkins (Minnesota Twins)

33. Brad Boxberger (Tampa Bay Rays)

34-36. Tony Cingrani, Caleb Cotham, J.J. Hoover (Cincinnati Reds)

TIER 7A – Speculative

37. Sam Dyson (Texas Rangers)

38. Hunter Strickland (San Francisco Giants)

39. Ken Giles (Houston Astros)

40. Tony Zych (Seattle Mariners)

41. Keone Kela (Texas Rangers)  Update: Looks like Kela is headed to the DL. Bummer.

TIER 7B – Semi speculative, potential save opps when closer is coming off a b2b. Also reference the latest article on holds to get more options if you’re chasing saves when guys are coming off a high pitch outing or are a bit overused recently. 

42. Drew Storen (Toronto Blue Jays)

43. Felipe Rivero (Washington Nationals)

44. Dellin Betances (New York Yankees)

45. Nate Jones (Chicago White Sox)

46. Joakim Soria (Kansas City Royals)

47. Darren O’Day (Baltimore Orioles)

48. Tyler Clippard (Arizona Diamondbacks)


Zach Britton in Tier 1 with the big boys. His ex-tier 2B buddy Jeurys Familia has been touched up but the velocity and ability to go 1+ IP is still there. Not worried.

Hector Rondon and Roberto Osuna get a slight boost in the rankings. Couldn’t ignore the fact that Pedro Strop and Drew Storen were sitting behind them with closers stuff, but Rondon looks better than I remember and Storen has been so so. 

Jason Grilli is kaput and Aroldys Vizcaino is building off his strong 2015. Viz hasn’t given up a run yet and while the Braves are bad, they aren’t bad enough where you have to worry about save opps. 

Johnathan Papelbon’s age is starting to show and he can’t blow his relatively flat fastball by hitters like the good old days. Will be quicker to the panic button if he starts to get knocked around a bit

– I have slight old man worries for Francisco Rodriguez. He is 4 for 5 in save chances but  has two ugly outings and more walks than strikeouts. 

– Tier 4 and 5 are a bit of a mishmosh. Tweaked like a madman and still not very comfortable with the order. Santiago Casilla has Hunter Strickland breathing down his neck (especially with Sergio Romo on the DL), Jake McGee has Tier 3 stuff but he’s stuck in Colorado and has a freckled injury history, and absolutely love Alex Colome but who knows what TB does when Brad Boxberger comes back

– Repeating what I said last week. Andrew Miller looks great but Aroldis Chapman will return soon enough and Miller will lose a lot of his value outside of hold leagues and daily rotos. Tier 1 skill but I’m selling in H2Hs and shopping everywhere else just because his market value seems a bit inflated given the circumstances. 

Glen Perkins is a mess physically and I don’t believe he will close again. Until more concrete information comes out it is hard to value Kelvin Jepsen but if you want to assume the job is his ROS bump him up to Tier 3.

Steve Cishek and Fernando Rodney find themselves at the bottom of the barrel again but not for lack of success in 2016. Cishek’s control looks much improved and Rodney still hasn’t given up a run. My faith in them is growing but the concerns are still there. 

– The Cincinnati situation is an absolute mess. I’m stashing Tony Cingrani and Caleb Cotham in a handful of daily rotos where I’m desperate for saves, but not starting them yet. Feels like a messy coin toss with a bunch of low upside arms. 

– Not much new brewing in the speculative save front. Rodney has looked strong while Kevin Quackenbush and Brandon Maurer have not. Sam Dyson is very likely the guy if Shawn Tolleson falters. 

– The better Tampa Bay’s record by the time Brad Boxberger comes off the DL the more likely Alex Colome keeps the job. I think Colome and his mid 90s fastball and upper 80s cutter out of the pen is filth, plus he is an ex starter horse. Not betting my life on it but I’d sell Boxberger shares.

Nick Pollack

Founder of Pitcher List. Creator of CSW, The List, and SP Roundup. Worked with MSG, FanGraphs, CBS Sports, and Washington Post. Former college pitcher, travel coach, pitching coach, and Brandeis alum. Wants every pitcher to be dope.

Account / Login