Top 100 Relievers For Holds For Fantasy Baseball 2023

Ranking baseball's top setup options for the 2023 season.

Welcome back to The Hold Up, where we’ll take a look at some relief pitchers who are worth targeting in leagues that value holds. I say it every year, but if you don’t happen to be in any leagues where holds are counted, I highly suggest you try to find one (or convince your commissioner to add them) as you are really missing out. The league is rapidly adapting to more of a closer-by-committee approach, making these leagues more relevant than ever before. In my opinion, it makes leagues more realistic because you can get value rostering guys in setup roles who may be more talented than other teams’ closers.

My personal strategy when it comes to holds, especially at draft time, is to put a priority on the high-upside relievers over the safer, floor types. In reality, “safe” and “reliever” are like oil and water anyway. I’ll take a chance on someone who has shown an ability to miss bats at a high rate early on in the season and adjust as the year goes on. You may notice some names missing, but anyone who is competing for a rotation spot or expected to open the season on the injury list was left off for the time being. With that being said, let’s get to the player notes and rankings.

Click Here for Updated Ranks from 3/16/23



  • Tier 1 are the two guys who role or not, should probably be rostered in every format to start the season. Andrés Muñoz and Jhoan Duran are two of the most exciting relievers in baseball and don’t be shocked to see 100 K’s from either one of them this year with an ERA under 2 and WHIP under 1. Two guys with some unhittable stuff.


  • Tier 2 represents the rest of the might-be closers but will at least turn in great ratios crowd. Except for A.J. Minter, who will likely not eclipse 10 saves on the season, but he is coming off a league-leading 34-hold season. He lowered his walk rate last year leading to a 29.2% K-BB rate while his 2.18 SIERA was good for 8th best amongst all relievers.
  • José Alvarado was a new pitcher last season, especially over the second half, allowing just one earned run over his final 21 innings while striking out 35 and walking just 4. Things did unravel a bit in the postseason though, but it looks like the Phillies have tapped into something with him as an electric sinker/cutter lefty.


  • Tier 3 is the best of the rest of the top set-up men in baseball. Joe Jiménez had a nice breakout in 2022, finishing the season with a 27.7% K-BB rate and 2.30 SIERA. Moving to Atlanta, Jiménez should be in line for more hold chances.
  • Abreu was one of the unsung heroes of the Astros bullpen, at least until the playoffs when we all got to see just how nasty his stuff truly is. Abreu held a 39.1% Whiff rate last season, with his slider doing most of the work here (44% thrown, 51.3% Whiff rate). The only “concern” with Abreu is his role, as he only had 8 holds last season and the Astros are returning their entire bullpen for the most part. Still, 5 holds in the playoffs are promising, and hopefully an indicator of what’s to come moving forward.


  • Tier 4 features some veteran set-up options who can still provide holds while (hopefully) not wrecking your ratios. Joe Mantiply will not be of much help when it comes to strikeouts, but he will help when it comes to SV+HLD’s and keeping your WHIP low thanks to a 2.5% walk rate.
  • Matt Bush enters the season locked into the Brewers’ top set-up role and is coming off his best season as a pro. His 33.4% CSW last year was 10th best amongst relievers and his Stuff+ numbers graded out in the top 20.


  • Tier 5 has some higher upside options, albeit with risk. Caleb Thielbar is someone I was probably undervaluing last year. Thielbar was able to improve on his K rate last year, leading to an impressive 25.3% K-BB rate with 80 K’s over 59.2 IP to go along with a nice 2.59 SIERA.
  • Joe Kelly and Tanner Scott are two guys with intriguing stuff, Kelly was severely unlucky last season (.382 BABIP, 60.8% LOB) while Scott continues to tease us with his strikeout upside. Maybe this is the year the walk rate finally comes down closer to 10%?


  • Tier 6 is basically tier 5 except we aren’t sure what these guys’ roles will be. The tier starts out with three pitchers who missed all or most of last season in Drew Pomeranz, Lucas Sims, and Tejay Antone. It’s tough to predict what we will get out of this trio this season, but all three were top 10-20 relievers at some point as recently as 2021.
  • There are also the two starters turned relievers in Adbert Alzolay and Aaron Ashby. Both have the potential to be weapons in middle/later stages of games with their ability to miss bats and go multiple innings, but they may not be huge assets in the holds column as a result of this usage.


  • Tier 7 is kind of the best of what’s left. These guys could be streamable throughout the season. There’s a chance we even see a closer or two from this tier, with Dany Jiménez and Kevin Ginkel being the favorites in that regard. There’s talk of Jiménez starting the year as the A’s closer, but I’m just not sure I see it with how bad his fastball is.
  • Tier 8 is mostly made up of speculative names worth monitoring. If I’m throwing a dart on someone in this tier, Jeremiah Estrada has been getting some hype this offseason, with some talk of him potentially becoming the Cubs’ closer eventually. He impressed in his 5.2 IP last year (18.8% SwStr rate, 8 K’s, good FB velo at 96.5 MPH), and if he starts the season in the MLB bullpen, could be worth the speculative add.


Rank Pitcher Change
1Andrés MuñozT1+1
2Jhoan Duran+UR
3Evan Phillips
4A.J. Minter+1
5Jason Adam+5
6Seranthony Domínguez+3
7José Alvarado-1
8Trevor Stephan
9Bryan Abreu+24
10Joe Jiménez+UR
11Giovanny Gallegos-8
12John Schreiber+1
13James Karinchak-5
14Erik Swanson-
15Michael King+UR
16Sam Hentges
17Héctor Neris+5
18Taylor Rogers+7
19Tommy Kahnle+UR
20Rafael Montero-8
21Joe Mantiply+13
22Adam Ottavino-4
23Chris Martin-4
24Matt Bush+15
25Jonathan Loáisiga+1
26Alex Vesia
27Matt Brash+17
28Griffin Jax-4
29Robert Suarez+8
30Reynaldo López+49
31Brooks Raley-20
32Caleb Thielbar+45
33Luis Garcia+21
34Andrew Chafin-7
35Anthony Bass-19
36Joe Kelly+49
37Tanner Scott+37
38Aaron Bummer-8
39Collin McHugh-19
40Jimmy Herget+UR
41Drew Pomeranz
42Lucas Sims+UR
43Tejay Antone+UR
44Adbert Alzolay+UR
45Aaron Ashby+UR
46Dylan Lee+UR
47Jovani Moran+UR
48Jake Cousins+UR
49Aroldis Chapman+15
50Brusdar Graterol+2
51Gregory Soto+UR
52Ryne Stanek-4
53Emilio Pagán+20
54Yency Almonte+36
55Diego Castillo+3
56Garrett Cleavinger+UR
57Dylan Coleman+8
58Jonathan Hernández+14
59Colin Poche-12
60Connor Brogdon+26
61David Robertson
62Pierce Johnson-26
63Brock Burke-22
64Ryan Tepera-2
65Eli Morgan-9
66Dany Jiménez+UR
67Hunter Harvey+1
68Carl Edwards Jr.-30
69Kevin Ginkel+18
70Jordan Hicks+UR
71Yimi García-5
72Steven Okert-12
73Andrew Bellatti+7
74José Quijada-24
75Lou Trivino-12
76Mychal Givens+UR
77Cionel Pérez-35
78Wil Crowe-7
79Jalen Beeks+UR
80Brad Boxberger-37
81Peter Strzelecki
82Enyel De Los Santos+UR
83Tim Mayza-26
84Keegan Akin+UR
85Domingo Acevedo+UR
86Andre Pallante+UR
87Caleb Ferguson+UR
88Jeremiah Estrada+UR
89Dillon Tate-40
90Joe Barlow+UR
91Julian Merryweather+UR
92Aaron Loup-37
93JT Chargois-24
94Matt Barnes+UR
95Matt Festa+UR
96John Brebbia-15
97Joely Rodríguez+UR
98Wandy Peralta+UR
99Miguel Castro+UR
100Robert Stephenson+UR


Photos by Icon Sportswire | Adapted by Justin Redler (@reldernitsuj on Twitter)

Rick Graham

Rick resides in the Boston area and has experience as a player and coach at the collegiate level. He has been covering relievers for Pitcher List since 2017.

One response to “Top 100 Relievers For Holds For Fantasy Baseball 2023”

  1. Bill says:

    No Jose Leclerc?

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