Closer Report: Regular Season

Wagner finished his last regular season (supposedly) better than any other!

The season is in the books and some of us are cheering and others steaming over our final standings in our fantasy baseball leagues. It’s never too early to get ready for next season’s draft, however, so check out our final Closer Report for the entire 2010 season.

The list you see below is only a list of closers that had a minimum of 25 save opportunities, sorry Hong Chih-Kuo fans!


Billy Wagner (Braves): Wagner has been one of the most productive and consistent closers in fantasy baseball. I say fantasy baseball because Wagner found himself with the second most blown saves in baseball. Wagner is the season’s best closer in fantasy however because he ended the season with 37 saves and the best ERA of any closer with at least 25 save opportunities. Remember I said opportunistic? Well, Wagner was able to pick up the second most wins of any closer with seven. (69.1 IP, 104 K, 37 SV, 7 W, 1.43 ERA, 0.87 WHIP)

Rafael Soriano (Rays): Soriano wasn’t going to wow anyone with strike out amounts, but he barely let anyone on base either. In his 62.1 innings on the season, Soriano ended the season with a 0.80 WHIP. Soriano was also one of the most clutch closers in baseball in 2010. Soriano had the second best save percentage in 2010. Out of 48 save opportunities he blew only three attempts. (62.1 IP, 57 K, 45 SV, 3 W, 1.73 ERA, 0.80 WHIP)

Heath Bell (Padres): Heath Bell actually was the most clutch closer in baseball. Bell ended 2010 with the best save percentage, and that paid dividends to his fantasy owners. Bell’s 94% save percentage wasn’t because of few opportunities, in fact Bell ended the season with the second most saves in baseball. (70 IP, 86 K, 47 SV, 6 W, 1.93 ERA, 1.20 WHIP)

Brian Wilson (Giants): The Giants made the playoffs by the skin of their teeth, and not surprisingly they needed their closer to step up big at the end of games. Wilson ended the season with the most saves in baseball and the third most strikeouts of all closers. (74.2 IP, 93 K, 48 SV, 3 W, 1.81 ERA, 1.18 WHIP)


Neftali Feliz (Rangers): Feliz ended the season with one of the best save percentages in baseball. Feliz also notched a very nice 71 strike outs for his owners, which when compared to his 69.1 innings pitched shows his worth. (69.1 IP, 71 K, 40 SV, 4 W, 2.73 ERA, 0.88 WHIP)

Joakim Soria (Royals): Soria is back over the 70 strikeout hump for the first time since  2007. Soria is always one of the best closers in baseball and even though his numbers weren’t bad in 2009, they were even better in 2010. Soria ended the season with 43 saves to his name (the most in his career) and third bast save percentage in baseball. (65.2 IP, 71 K, 43 SV, 3 W, 1.78 ERA, 1.05 WHIP)

Marmol finished the season with 138 K's...WOW!

Carlos Marmol (Cubs): Though sometime hit or miss, Marmol seemed to routinely pick up multiple strikeouts. Marmol actually notched the most for any closer, and by a huge margin, at 138. (77.2 IP, 138 K, 38 SV, 2 W, 2.55 ERA, 1.18 WHIP)

Matt Capps (Nationals/Twins): He was the hottest thing going in the beginning of the year while with the Nats, then a trade sent him up north to the Twins. While with the Twins, Capps’ saves amount was greatly reduced (the Nationals had the most save opportunities of any team in the majors). (73 IP, 59 K, 42 SV, 5 W, 2.47 ERA, 1.26 WHIP)

Mariano Rivera (Yankees): Rivera wasn’t quite his usual clutch self in 2010. Not that it was a poor year for Rivera, but five blown saves hurt Rivera and almost dropped him to the middle of the pack. In fact, of the 29 closers to record at least 25 SVO, Rivera was 15th in save percentage. (60 IP, 45 K, 33 SV, 3 W, 1.80 ERA, 0.83 WHIP)


John Axford (Brewers): Axford produced a ton of strikeouts (76), and even notched the most wins of any regular closer (8). Where it counted, however, Axford fell short. Only notching 24 saves on the year just wasn’t enough to be above average. (58 IP, 76 K, 24 SV, 8 W, 2.48 ERA, 1.19 WHIP)

Jonathan Papelbon (Red Sox): Papelbon really looked shaky at the end of the year, and his save percentage shows it, 23rd of 29. Papelbon had a decent amount of strikeouts and saves, but eight blown saves on the year holds him back. (67 IP, 76 K, 37 SV, 5 W, 3.90 ERA, 1.27 WHIP)

Francisco Cordero (Reds): Cordero was another big name closer to struggle near the end of the season. While Papelbon was 23rd in save percentage, Cordero sat at 21st. Cordero was unable to reach 60 strike outs for the second year in a row, after three years of 80 strike outs seasons. (72.2 IP, 59 K, 40 SV, 6 W, 3.84 ERA, 1.43 WHIP)

Ryan Franklin (Cardinals): Cordero was actually very strong in his save opportunities, having the 4th best save percentage in the group. Only 27 saves are just not enough to be newsworthy though. It was nice for Franklin owners to reap the benefits of his added six wins but overall, Franklin just wasn’t good enough. (65 IP, 42 K, 27 SV, 6 W, 3.46 ERA, 1.03 WHIP)

Chris Perez (Indians): The Indians closer was exactly what his grade says: mediocre. I am looking for something good, or even bad, to say here but Perez is exactly in the middle of the pack on just about everything. He was probably bounced around on the waiver wire and was a good pickup in certain situations. (63 IP, 61 K, 23 SV, 2 W, 1.71 ERA, 1.08 WHIP)


Francisco Rodriguez (Mets): K-Rod was actually fairly decent … when he was on the mound. Rodriguez was headed to a borderline B grade but because so many owners took him too high to go without him half of the season he drops below the line. (57.1 IP, 67 K, 25 SV, 4 W, 2.20 ERA, 1.15 WHIP)

Leo Nunez (Marlins): Nunez started off the season very strong but found himself out of the closer role by season’s end. Why is he even being listed then? Because Nunez’ 38 save opportunities were too many to ignore, so his fantasy baseball owners saw him take the mound at the end of a lot of games. Unfortunately, his owners saw him blow eight saves. (65 IP, 71 K, 30 SV, 4 W, 3.46 ERA, 1.28 WHIP)

Kevin Gregg (Blue Jays): Gregg was a middle of the pack type of guy when it came to converting his save opportunities. When it came to keeping men off of the base paths, however, Gregg was the worst. Gregg had the highest WHIP of any closer with at least 25 SVO and it was mostly due to his pretty high walk totals. (59 IP, 58 K, 37 SV, 2 W, 3.51 ERA, 1.39 WHIP)

Jose Valverde (Tigers): Valverde wasn’t really given the opportunity to pick up a lot of saves this season, and unfortunately that does hurt his stock as a closer on the season. His save percentage wasn’t all that grade and he ended the season with a 3.00 ERA. (63 IP, 63 K, 26 SV, 2 W, 3.00 ERA, 1.16 WHIP)

Put your hands down Bobby!

David Aardsma (Mariners): Aardsma very rarely saw himself much higher than at this grade all season but somehow never got the ax. This grade shouldn’t be a surprise to anyone as he recorded a high 3.44 ERA and blew five save opportunities. (49.2 IP, 49 K, 31 SV, 0 W, 3.44 ERA, 1.17 WHIP)

Brad Lidge (Phillies): Don’t be so shocked that the closer for potential World Series Champions would be ranked so low. Lidge only picked up 27 saves and had one of the lowest save percentages, with five blown saves on the season. (45.2 IP, 52 K, 27 SV, 1 W, 2.96 ERA, 1.23 WHIP)


Huston Street (Rockies): At one point in the season, Street had a run of weeks being at the bottom of the list and not enough happened in the other weeks to keep him from that in the final report. (47.1 IP, 45 K, 20 SV, 4 W, 3.61 ERA, 1.06 WHIP)

Jonathan Broxton (Dodgers): I know, I know, Brox missed a good chunk of the season, but considering too many people drafted him higher than a lot of other closers on this list, and because he accumulated 29 save opportunities before he was shut down. (62.1 IP, 73 K, 22 SV, 5 W, 4.04 ERA, 1.48 WHIP)

Bobby Jenks (White Sox): It has been a long fall from grace for Jenks, much like Broxton he was shut down after injury but was drafted higher than most closers. Jenks ended the season with a fairly decent save percentage, but allowed far too many runs and ended the season with an ERA at almost 4.50. (52.2 IP, 61 K, 27 SV, 1 W, 4.44 ERA, 1.37 WHIP)

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