Fade Jansen, Hader, Bard at their ADPs in 2023?
D.J. Short and Scott Pianowski dive into which fantasy closers they are buying and fading this season, including Josh Hader, Kenley Jansen, Alexis Diaz and more.
- So let's get into some buying and fading here. And as we always do, we start with the fades. You're looking at ADPs, especially in the reliever market where it's really tough to diagnose what am I going to spend on a reliever. What are some ADPs that are scaring you off right now?
D.J. SHORT: So, Scott already mentioned Kenley Jansen. And I'm going to start off with him here. I still have him as a top 12 closer because when you have someone who is the clear number one guy, the Red Sox gave him a big contract, he's probably going to get 30 saves. But what I'm looking at with Kenley Jansen this year is the pitch clock. Now Jansen has been one of the most deliberate pitchers to the plate in Major League Baseball.
He had the highest low percentage with bases empty last year. Second worst in slow percentage with runners on base last season. So I think this is going to be an adjustment for some of these pitchers. Especially relievers who tend to be a bit more deliberate. I'm interested to see how he's going to adjust to that in the early part of the season.
And then you look at the age too. 35 years old. Turns 36 in September. Are there injury concerns to worry about here? He was really good last year with the Braves. But we'll see how these different factors come together for him this year. I'm probably going to avoid him.
- Scott, any ADPs that are scaring you off right now?
SCOTT PIANOWSKI: Josh Hader is the biggest name closer I'm not going to draft. He just really spooked me last year. He lost his release point. He walked a ton of guys. And he's starting to allow home runs. We used to think of Josh Hader as just completely unhittable. That's no longer the case here. And when a closer goes bad on a contending team, they don't have the luxury to wait around.
San Diego considers itself one of the three or four primary contenders to win the World Series. If Hader doesn't get off to a good start, they have a lot of people nipping at his heels. So I'm going to be out on him. I'm going to be out on Jansen as we talked about earlier.
And I don't like the draft into injuries. Injuries are going to find you anyway. So why draft into them. We saw Felix Bautista at the end of last year with that knee problem. He wanted to rehab that. Now he's got a shoulder issue. I'm probably going to bump him down where I have him ranked on this show.
But Baltimore is another team. Right. They think they're a playoff contender. They think they could make it maybe as a wild card this year. They probably won't win AL East. So I don't think they'll have a long leash for Bautista either. That's the double edged sword. You want a closer on a good team. But if you don't get off to a good start, they're going to replace you maybe quicker than a medium team would.
D.J. SHORT: I bumped Bautista down a couple of spots in my rankings just with news of that. And he's only done this once too. So I think that's an important factor as well. NL West, Daniel Bard with the Rockies, he was awesome last year. He's really reinvented himself. But you know, pitching in Colorado, bad things can happen. I'm just not going to draft at that ADP. And also the Diamondbacks bullpen is just a complete mess. Mark Melancon wants to reclaim the closer job. I don't trust him.
They signed Scott McGough. He pitched like four seasons in Japan. Reinvented himself as well. He's maybe a late round sleeper. But I think that bullpen is wide open. And I'm not going to take any part of it in mixed league drafts this spring.
SCOTT PIANOWSKI: He's thinking about a contract, right? Age 38 season. He's got a big walk problem. It's obviously Colorado, which is a horrible place to pitch. And look back into Rockies history. Guys have not had multiple years of closing success in that park for obvious reasons. I can see Daniel Bard having to get 5.5 ERA, and not closing for a team that's going to win like 68 games anyway. I do have him in my top 20. But he's somebody I'm not going to draft either.
- It's great when you get the rundown. And D.J.'s fades include the entire Diamondbacks bullpen.
D.J. SHORT: Sorry, guys.
- Fades the entire team's bullpen. Scott, for the buying market, we'll start with you. What are a couple of ADPs that you're looking at and saying, OK, I would be in on that player in that spot?
SCOTT PIANOWSKI: Yeah. So I'm always looking for a tier one closer at a tier two price. And I think Raisel Iglesias and Ryan Pressly fit that really nicely. They're both on teams that are going to win 90 plus games. They both have the closing job to themselves to open the season. I also think Camilo Doval could take a step forward in San Francisco. He's not perfect. The walk rate is a little bit higher than we want it to be. If he trims that just a little bit, I still think San Francisco has an 85, 87, and 88 win team on the field.
It's overshadowed because of what the Dodgers look like, and because of all the moves that San Diego have made. But I think Doval has the job to himself. And again, just a little bit of a tweak to his control I could see him taking a step forward this year.
D.J. SHORT: So I really like the Iglesias pick there, Scott. 1 earned run allowed in 28 appearances after the trade from the Angels last year. Was a little shaky to start the season with the Angels. But he had a 2.75 ERA between 2016 and 2022. The Braves should win 95 plus games. So for me, that's automatic.
I also like Alexis Diaz with the Reds. Edwin Diaz's brother. So you already like the sound of that. 1.84 ERA over 59 appearances as a rookie last year. The xERA was 2.76. So really kind of backing up what he did last year. Did a great job inducing weak contact. And misses a ton of bats, especially with his slider. If there's a pitcher who could make that leap into the top 10 closers, I think Alexis Diaz could be that guy.