With the tenth week of the fantasy baseball season upon us, it is pretty clear if you are set at the closer position or if you have a gaping hole at the bottom of your lineup. The position is growing more and more important in fantasy baseball and is always worth taking a closer look at. Each week of the season I will dissect the closer position: by evaluating injuries, looking at position battles, and reviewing some future stars. Below is the week 10 edition of my fantasy baseball closer report:
Tom Wilhelmsen vs. Stephen Pryor
With Brandon League’s horrid May, Seattle quickly decided to demote him back to the bullpen. Former middle reliever, Tom Wilhelmsen, is the heavy favorite to take over the job vacancy. However, the recently called up, Stephen Pryor, is also getting consideration, as the kid has showed great control at Triple A-Tacoma. Wilhelmsen will get first crack to take over the ninth-inning work, but Pryor will be right there the first time of trouble.
Enter the New Sandman:
Rafael Soriano, NYY – Soriano has really established himself has the new Sandman in the ninth innings in the Bronx; that is, at least until David Robertson comes back. In his last 7 games Soriano has converted all six of his save opportunities and has become a fantasy waiver wire All-Star for owners over the last week. If he can remain as the Bombers’ closer then he easily rack up another 20-25 saves before the season ends. However, if Robertson comes back in a couple weeks and steals the closer job back, then Soriano is better off being kept in AL only leagues.
Coming into his Own:
Aroldis Chapman, CIN – Chapman has continued to blow batters away with a staggering 50 strikeouts in just over 28 innings of work and the ace has still not allowed an earned run all year. Chapman is one of the only pitchers in the league that can top out over 100MPH, and it makes him an ideal closer in the ninth innings. He has been flawless in his last six outings as the team’s closer and has really secured his job over former closer, Sean Marshall. He will a top-tier closer moving forward and has a lot left in his arm at only 24 years old.