The Hold Up 5/30: Ranking the Top 100 Relievers for Holds Every Thursday

Ranking baseball's top setup options for the 2024 season.

Ryan Pressly just can’t seem to get any positive momentum going as every time it looks like he’s about to turn the corner, he goes out and has a rough outing. For now, it makes sense to look at other options, but I’m still not out on Pressly for the rest of the year. He still has a 22.1% K-BB rate, 32.1% CSW, 2.51 xFIP, 2.61 SIERA and 125 Stuff+. So what has been the issue? He’s been the most unlucky pitcher in baseball with the highest BABIP amongst relievers by quite a large margin as his .431 BABIP is .018 points higher than the second-highest number, in fact, there are only four qualified relievers with a BABIP higher than .382.

While some relievers (notoriously Edwin Díaz) have high career BABIPs, Pressly’s career number is .295 which is still a bit high compared to most, but we’d also be having a much different conversation about Pressly if that were his BABIP this season. All that being said, Pressly is allowing a lot of hard contact (47.5% ICR, he’s been around 36% the past three seasons), so the high BABIP isn’t entirely luck-related, and for those reasons he drops down the list a little bit this week.




  • Jeremiah Estrada now has 18 Ks over his past 6.2 IP (allowing just one hit and no walks) which is just comical. When these types of breakouts happen, they do tend to happen fast and out of nowhere, so act fast as this is probably the last chance you’ll get to jump on the Estrada bandwagon before he is rostered in all holds leagues.

  • Ryan Walker has followed up his great April with an even better May, allowing just two ERs this month while posting an elite 18/1 K/BB rate. He’s seeing more and more hold chances as well and has emerged as the team’s top setup option ahead of Tyler Rogers.

  • Similar things can be said about Bryan Hudson, as he too has been even better in May somehow, allowing just one ER and eights hits while striking out 19 and walking just two this month. The Brewers definitely have question marks in their rotation and lineup, but if they get a healthy Devin Williams back in a month or so to go along with Trevor Megill and Hudson, that’s probably the best late-inning trio in all of baseball.
  • Cade Smith has been fantastic in May as well, as he and Hunter Gaddis have taken over setup duties with Scott Barlow struggling as of late. Smith has a nice 15/1 K/BB ratio in May, and has allowed just one ER and six hits.

  • The baseball gods really seem to enjoy making things miserable for the Mets as they’ve lost their closer to the IL, Reed Garrett’s allowed seven hits and seven runs over his past 2.1 IP, Jorge López had one of the most bizarre meltdowns in recent history yesterday, and Adam Ottavino has completely imploded in the month of May. Ottavino has allowed 16 hits and seven walks this month, to go along with 11 ERs over just a 10.2 inning span.
  • Ryan Thompson is putting together some of the best work of his career this season, and with Kevin Ginkel having a brutal month he’s established himself as the Diamondbacks’ top setup option at the moment. Nothing has really changed with his repertoire as he’s still the same sidewinding sinker/slider guy, but his low walk rate, high groundball rate, and ability to limit hard contact put him in that Tyler Rogers territory.

  • Unfortunately, it doesn’t seem like A.J. Puk is going to have much use in fantasy leagues this season as things have not translated well in his relief role either. He still is not able to get swings and misses (4.2% SwStr, 21% CSW and 1/2 K/BB rates!) as the stuff is just down right now. The velo is starting to get back to where it was at last season, but it hasn’t resulted in more success yet. There’s still time, but I think Andrew Nardi has worked his way back into being the next-in-line closer option in Miami.


If you would like more daily reliever updates, please check out our Reliever Ranks series.


SP Eligible Relievers


Rank Pitcher Change
1Griffin JaxT1+1
2Jeff Hoffman+2
3Bryan Abreu+2
4Jeremiah Estrada+25
5Hunter Harvey+1
6Jason Adam-3
7Fernando Cruz+6
8Matt Strahm+2
9Ryan Walker+19
10Bryan Hudson+15
11Joe Jiménez
12JoJo Romero+2
13Yennier Cano-4
14Yimi García-3
15Hunter Gaddis+5
16Cade Smith+10
17Danny Coulombe+4
18Blake Treinen+9
19Ryan Pressly-12
20Orion Kerkering+3
21Garrett Cleavinger
22Chris Martin-5
23David Robertson-5
24Andrew Kittredge-9
25Scott Barlow-9
26Daniel Hudson+UR
27Mark Leiter Jr.+3
28Colin Holderman+6
29Luke Weaver+3
30Justin Slaten+6
31Andrew Nardi
32Alex Vesia+7
33Adrian Morejon+7
34Adam Ottavino-15
35Tyler Rogers-2
36Nick Sandlin+1
37Tommy Kahnle+4
38Ryan Thompson+14
39Kevin Ginkel-8
40A.J. Puk-18
41Pierce Johnson
42John Schreiber+2
43Taylor Rogers+6
44Ian Hamilton+UR
45Chad Green+UR
46Phil Maton-1
47Lucas Sims+7
48Erik Miller+5
49Austin Adams-1
50Ryne Stanek+16
51Caleb Thielbar
52Joel Payamps+8
53Randy Rodríguez+9
54Jordan Leasure-3
55Justin Martinez+14
56Enyel De Los Santos-6
57Hunter Stratton-22
58Steven Okert-3
59Aroldis Chapman-1
60Sam Hentges+3
61Elvis Peguero-
62Jacob Webb+6
63Dylan Lee+7
64Trevor Richards-5
65Alex Faedo+32
66John Brebbia-9
67Calvin Faucher+9
68Yuki Matsui+11
69Michael Grove+12
70Shawn Armstrong+4
71Tyler Holton
72Matt Moore+15
73José Leclerc+17
74Sean Hjelle+6
75Eli Morgan+UR
76Gabe Speier-30
77Caleb Ferguson-10
78Hoby Milner-13
79Gregory Soto-7
80Tim Herrin-7
81Greg Weissert+1
82Aaron Bummer-4
83Luis García+2
84Trent Thornton-
85Cam Booser+10
86Jorge Alcala+UR
87Hayden Wesneski+7
88Jake Diekman+5
89Angel Zerpa-6
90Seranthony Domínguez-1
91Luke Jackson+9
92Sam Moll+UR
93Robert Garcia+UR
94Brennan Bernardino+UR
95Sean Reid-Foley-4
96Joe Mantiply+UR
97Kevin Kelly-22
98Cole Sands-21
99Tyson Miller+UR
100Enoli Paredes+UR

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.

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