With the fantasy baseball playoffs upon us, its 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 my fantasy baseball closer report for the second round of the playoffs:
Tom Wilhelmsen, Seattle Mariners – Wilhelmsen has quietly racked 24 saves since the meltdown of former Mariners’ closer, Brandon League. “Slick Willy” has continued to throw bullets in the late innings, despite the fact that Seattle is racing towards the end of American League. He can be a strong mid-level closer to ride through the rest of the playoffs.
Rafael Betancourt, Colorado Rockies – Betancout has been another surprisingly consistent closer throughout the majority of the 2012 season. He has 24 saves on the year and boasts an immaculate WHIP of 1.03. Betancourt may not be much of a strikeout pitcher, as he has only struck out 28 batters in just over 51 innings of work. However, his ability to induce ground-ball outs and double plays has made him one of the most consistent closers in the entire National League.
What Could Have Been:
Heath Bell, Miami Marlins – Miami signed Bell to a massive contract before the season started, and unfortunately Bell has completely self destructed throughout 2012. He went from being a high-end closer, to being demoted to a mid-level middle reliever. Bell may have value as a closer in 2013, but his 2012 fantasy baseball value is long gone.