In 2019, no reliever recorded more saves from June 21st to the end of the regular season than Liam Hendriks . After replacing Blake Treinen as Oakland’s closer, Hendriks surged, converting 25 saves along with the second most strikeouts as a reliever (122). Noting Hendriks notched 124 strikeouts in 85 innings, he did make two appearances as an opener for the A’s prior to taking over the ninth inning. 

Savvy fantasy owners reaped the rewards of replacing Treinen in their lineups, or nabbing Hendriks off the waiver wire in late June. Hendriks finished 2019 with four wins, a 124:21 K:BB rate, 1.80 ERA, 3.21 xFIP and 0.96 WHIP. Knowing closers can emerge from nowhere, this transition began in earnest in 2018. Over his last 13 innings, Hendriks recorded a 1.38 ERA with 10 strikeouts against three walks, a .178 batting average against and 0.85 WHIP. He carried over the gains along with adding two MPH to his fastball, slider and curve last season. 

This velocity boost fueled a...