2019 MLB Draft Guide: Fantasy Baseball Closer Grid
Howard Bender builds the 2019 MLB Closer Grid to alert fantasy baseball owners to the current hierarchy in each team's bullpen.
UPDATED: March 18 @ 1:00pm ET
Welcome to the 2019 Fantasy Baseball Closer Grid.
In an effort to help you track current and potential closers, we’ve created the following bullpen grid. You’ll notice that each team has its current closer listed first, followed by the relief pitchers we believe to be the first and second in line for saves should something happen to the current ninth-inning specialist. They may not be listed in the same order you’ll see on some depth charts as, often times, managers will leave certain relievers as set-up men rather than move them into the ninth. We see this most-often with lefty set-up men.
The color-coding is pretty straight-forward. Green indicates, not just strong performance, but also strong job security which is probably one of the most important assets a reliever can have. As we move down through the different levels of color, both performance and likelihood of holding down the job lessen.
Please keep in mind this is far from an exact science as managers mess around with their bullpens more than they do any other position on the team. Some play the match-ups extensively while other may have a really quick hook should the closer not be performing up to task. But with regard to drafting your teams this season, you at least have a good idea of which relievers may be worth a late-round flyer as a potential closer.
For in-season use, this grid will be updated, at the very least, weekly. We will have write-ups as to which bullpens could be in-flux and should there be a significant change, we will update as such. We say significant, because a player receiving a random save opportunity may not warrant ownership. Maybe the manager was playing the match-ups or maybe the bullpen was severely taxed for three-straight games. Just because a guy notches a save, doesn’t automatically make him worth owning.
As spring training gets underway, here’s a look at how the bullpens currently shake out: