Atlanta Braves

Belly’s 2015 Top 10 Closer’s in the MLB


In this article we will be breaking down who we think are the top-10 Closers in the game right now. There are so many we can pick, but this was a hard one for us cause their are so many good closer’s out there. We will be starting with 10 thru 1 and giving you some good examples why they’re in the top 10 for us. Kicking it off for us is –


Los Angeles Dodgers v Chicago Cubs

#10) Kenley Jansen (Los Angeles Dodgers)

This kid is a strikeout machine. In his first full season as a closer, he racked up 101 strikeouts and 44 saves, in 65 and 1/3 innings. That’s averaging 13.9 strikeouts per inning. I’m pretty sure any club would take that from your closer. The only bad part of his season in 2014 was, that he blew 5 saves. Other than that, the 27 year old has improved each year he has been asked to close games for the Dodgers.

2014 stats

SV           BLSV      WHIP     WAR      ERA

44           5                1.13         1.2          2.76


Mark Melancon

#9) Mark Melancon (Pittsburgh Pirates)

This guy has bounced around his entire career for a few teams but it looks like he finally made a home in Pittsburgh. Have a good solid year in 2014, racking up 33 saves after Pittsburgh trading closer Jason Grilli and giving the closing role to Melancon. He only blew 4 saves for the Pirates in 2014. Showing that he can be the closer they need, made the easy choice for the Pirates to keep him in the same role for 2015 season.

2014 stats

SV           BLSV      WHIP     WAR      ERA

33           4                0.87         2.4         1.90


MLB: Milwaukee Brewers at Pittsburgh Pirates

#8) Francisco Rodriquez (Milwaukee Brewers)

Rodriquez has racked up a ton of saves over the years as a closer. 348 saves in his 13 years of service in the MLB. He has bounced around to a few teams in his career but out in Los Angeles was were he did the most damage as a closer. In 2014 he put up 44 saves, that was his best season as a closer since 2008 when he broke the record for most saves in a single season with 62. With what Rodriquez did in 2014, The Brewers are feeling good about what he has done and are keeping him in the same role again.

2014 stats

SV           BLSV      WHIP     WAR      ERA

44           5                0.99         1.5         3.04



#7) Trevor Rosenthal (St. Louis Cardinals)

At the age of 24, Rosenthal has proven to be a dominate closer in the big league. While racking up 45 saves in his first full season in the closer role. The Cardinals are very happy at what this youngster can do. We all saw that he blew 6 saves last season but he will get better as he develops more experience in the MLB. His walk rate was a little high but for not having a ton of playing time in the MLB, will develop quickly with the right tools around him to learn.

2014 stats

SV           BLSV      WHIP     WAR      ERA

45           6                1.41         0.9          3.20


Baltimore Orioles v Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim

#6) Zach Britton (Baltimore Orioles)

Taken control of the closer role in 2014 was a new whole world for Britton. This was his first full season as a closer and he proved to the ball club that he wants it and as much as he worked for it, it’s time to step up his game. It all worked out for the 27 year old, busting out 37 saves and an ERA under 2. Starting out as a Starting Pitcher in the Majors didn’t turn out ass well as he wanted it too. As a Starter he is (W)18-(L)17 with a (ERA)4.84. Not really good. But when he was put in the bullpen, (Lights Out) is what Baltimore fans saw.

2014 stats

SV           BLSV      WHIP     WAR      ERA

37            4               0.90        2.5          1.65


Cincinnati Reds relief pitcher Aroldis Chapman (54)

#5) Aroldis Chapman (Cincinnati Reds)

This flame throwing is just ridiculous on the mound. Almost averaging 2 strikeouts per inning is just nuts. The 6’4″ lefty has just shown dominance on the mound ever since he was named the closer. In the 3 years he has been the closer, he has put up numbers HOF have. (SV) 112, (SO) 340. That’s an average of 113 strikeouts per season. As a closer!!!! That’s crazy numbers. He’s putting up numbers in the strikeout category that some starting pitchers put up and he is only pitching one inning most games.

2014 stats

SV           BLSV      WHIP     WAR      ERA

36            2               0.83         1.9         2.00


Seattle Mariners v Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim

#4) Huston Street (Los Angeles Angels)

In 10 seasons, Street has put up good numbers as a closer. He has been the closer for every team he has played for, ever since he stepped on the mound in the big league. But in 2014, pitching for the San Diego Padres and the Los Angeles Angels, he posted 41 saves. That’s the most he has ever thrown. At the age of 31, he just keeps making saves for the ball club he is on. 275 career saves in 10 seasons (Oakland, Colorado, San Diego, Los Angeles)

2014 stats

SV           BLSV      WHIP     WAR      ERA

41            3               0.94         2.7          1.37


MLB: Los Angeles Angels at Seattle Mariners

#3) Fernando Rodney (Seattle Mariners)

For being 38 years old, he found what his job was in the MLB.  Over the past 3 seaqsons, he has 135 saves. You dont see that very often from a guy who is in his late 30’s and is still pitching for be league teams. Starting his career off in Detroit as a middle relief pitcher, developed him into what he is now. The last season in Detroit (2009) he put up 37 saves and only had 1 blown save. The Angels saw that and knew they needed him, Didn’t work out well for the both of them. In 2012 he ended up in Tampa and became an elite closer.

2014 stats

SV           BLSV      WHIP     WAR      ERA

48           3               1.34          0.8          2.85



#2) Craig Kimbrel (Atlanta Braves)

Kimbrel is a rare gift that most fans don’t get to see. If he keeps doing what he is doing for another good 8-10 years, He will be up there with Hoffman and Rivera. Kimbrel has so much talent as a closer. In four full seasons as a closer for the braves, he has (SV)186 and averaging 100+ strikeouts a season. How I see it, is that he has been the best closer over the past four seasons. Very consistent and gets the job done. For only being 26 and will turn 27 when the season starts, he has very good control and is building great leadership to the bullpen.

2014 stats

SV           BLSV      WHIP     WAR      ERA

47             4              0.91         2.5         1.61


#1) Greg Holland (Kansas City Royals)

He comes down to showing the best work as a closer for us, help leading his team to the World Series in 2014. First time the Royals have been there in years. Holland has shown over the 2013 & 2014 seasons, he’s a dominate closer. As being named the full time closer for the Royals, he has only blown 5 saves in two season. Solid numbers. He’s hoping he can repeat what he did in 2014 and help take the Royals back to the World Series in 2015.

2014 stats

SV           BLSV      WHIP     WAR      ERA

46           2                0.91        2.5          1.44

One of the beautiful things about baseball is that every once in a while you come into a situation where you want to, and where you have to, reach down and prove something. – Nolan Ryan

About Shawn Bell

I love baseball!!! Still playing on a travel team. Live and Breathe the sport. I'm a northern Michigander and I do like to hunt and fish also. I like to take long walks on the beach and chill on a boat whenever I can. LETS GO TIGERS!!!!

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