The New York Mets have apparently appointed Bobby Parnell as the team’s closer to start 2013. Frank Francisco will likely miss the start of the season due to lingering issues around the surgery to remove bone spurs from his elbow. So the job might now be Parnell’s to lose. But will he do so? Is he worth a late round draft pick in fantasy baseball drafts?
There might be considerable competition for the closer spot from within the ranks. In 2011, at A level, Josh Edgin saved 27 of 31 opportunities, and posted a tidy ERA of 1.50 and WHIP of 1.02. But in 2012 his progression in minor ranks stymied. After his call-up in September with the Mets, he posted a 3:1 strikeout ratio in 25 innings.
Parnell, on the other hand, saved seven games last season but also blew five saves. His strikeout to walk ratio was close to 3.0. His four-seam fastball frequently puts up triple digits on the radar gun, but his challenge has been finding a reliable second pitch. He had tried a slider, two-seam fastball, and a slow curve.
Francisco, who closed for the Mets for most of 2012, saved 23 of 26 chances. His strikeout to walk ratio was 2.4, a little low for a closer. He will turn 34 this season, so his recovery from surgery might be a little longer than is even now projected.
The bottom line here is that if your league does not include HOLDs as a statistic, I would not waste a draft pick on Parnell. Between the Mets’ low number of wins, competition for the closer spot, and Parnell’s inability to keep the job when he had previous chances, I would only grab him for HOLDs.