MLB Top Ten: Relief Pitchers and Right Fielders

RELIEF PITCHERS

  1. Andrew Miller
  2. Aroldis Chapman
  3. Zach Britton
  4. Kenley Jansen
  5. Wade Davis
  6. Mark Melancon
  7. Seung Hwan Oh
  8. Dellin Betances
  9. Jeurys Familia
  10. Will Harris

Analysis: While you may be looking for closers in these rankings, saves are not the only category that matters, and do not even seem to matter. FIP, ERA and WHIP, the stats most important to all pitchers, are what really matter, and despite the low save counts of Harris and Betances they still made the list. Oh and Familia each had low ERA’s and racked up saves. Oh doesn’t have the track record in the major leagues and is 34 years old, but a 1.92 ERA puts him into the top 10. For Melancon he will be on his third team in two seasons, joining the Giants over the offseason. Melancon has the best reliever ERA since 2013 at under 2.00 and is sixth in FIP in that span. Davis had a 1.85 ERA but only put up a little over 43 innings due to a flexor strain in his throwing arm which may limit his talent going forward. Since 2014, he has a 1.18 ERA, the best in that span amongst relievers. Jansen had a sub-2 ERA and the league leading 0.67 WHIP and the second best FIP in the majors. He has a 13 K/9 rate as well. During the postseason, Jansen was one of the best relievers in the postseason as well pitching more than just three outs multiple times. Zach Britton, at number 3, had the best Win Probability Added, Groundball rate and the best ERA of all time at 0.54, minimum 50 innings pitched to go along with a perfect 47/47 in save opportunities. Chapman has the best FIP since 2014 at 1.46 and of course throws the hardest fastball recorded in MLB history. Andrew Miller had a 13.7 K/BB ratio that led all relievers with 50 innings pitched  and is at or near the top in ERA, FIP, WHIP and innings pitched. 

RIGHT FIELDERS

  1. Mookie Betts
  2. Bryce Harper
  3. Nelson Cruz
  4. Giancarlo Stanton
  5. J.D. Martinez
  6. Jose Bautista
  7. Carlos Gonzalez
  8. Hunter Pence
  9. Josh Reddick
  10. Stephen Piscotty

Analysis: For Piscotty, he was a 2.9 WAR player in 2016 with 22 homers and 85 RBI’s in his first full season while also coming in 4th in defensive WAR. For Josh Reddick, after amazing numbers with the A’s after 297 PA’s, he finished up 2016 slashing .281/.345/.405 and was about a 3 WAR player. Pence, going into his age 34 season, he has been injured a lot in 2015 and 2016, combining to play in only 158 games over that span. In 2016 he had a 115 OPS+ and batted .289 with 13 homers with over a .350 OBP and .450 SLG. Car-Go, who used to be an injury question, has played two straight big seasons averaging 152 games a season. He has major home/road splits batting only .260 on the road and putting up a little over 20 home runs over 2 seasons compared to over 40 at Coors Field. Despite Bautista’s “poor season,” he hit .366 OBP and slugged .452 with 25-35 home run power while his DRS has gone down every season since 2013 all the way down to -8 DRS in 2016. J.D. has slugged over .530 in three straight seasons but had the second worst DRS in baseball. Stanton has hit the ball the hardest the most frequently in baseball since 2015 but is coming off career lows in OBP and SLG. Cruz, hitting over 30 homers and seeing his walk rate increase every season was convicted for PED use in 2013. Harper, only 24, coming off only a 2 win season with 24 home runs is only now two seasons removed from leading the majors in OBP and SLG above .450 and .600 in those categories. Betts, undeniably was the top right fielder leading baseball with a .500+ SLG, he had a 9.6 WAR, and led the MLB in DRS and bSR, and he led the league in total bases. Kole Calhoun,  with a 3.4 WAR, and Gregory Polanco, with a 107 OPS+ and good base running and fielding, were snubbed. 

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