2021 Fantasy Baseball Relief Pitcher Preview: Sleepers, Breakouts, Busts, top prospects, rankings and more

Last season, closers were tumbling down draft boards as drafters were scared off by the elite at the position struggling in 2019. The high-end options were better in 2020, and we’ve seen Josh Hader, Liam Hendriks, Aroldis Chapman, Edwin Diaz, and Raisel Iglesias move back into the top-100 in Average Draft Position for 2021 Fantasy baseball drafts. And it might not be an overreaction.

As I’m writing this, teams are mere days from reporting for spring training and rosters across the majors are still in flux. The market for free agent relievers has been especially cold, which means there is still potentially a ton of movement left to happen. Until the music stops and everyone finds their chair, however, we’re facing a situation where potentially half of the closer jobs are in serious question right now. That’s not an exaggeration. The Orioles, Red Sox, Rays, Tigers, Royals, Athletics, Rangers, Braves, Marlins, Phillies, Reds, Pirates, Cardinals, Diamondbacks, Rockies, and Giants all have legitimate questions about who will close. 

In some cases, the closer will become clear pretty quickly, either with a free agent addition or the team naming someone to the job. But for now, the position remains more unsettled heading into the season than ever before, and that’s reflected in our rankings for 2021; Trevor Rosenthal is currently 12th in the consensus ranks for Scott White, Frank Stampfl, and I, and he doesn’t currently have a team. 

It’s almost never a good idea to invest heavily in closer, a position where roughly half of the teams churn through multiple options most seasons. However, if you do want some certainty, you might have to pay up for one of the increasingly rare assumed sure things. 

  • Position Previews: C | 1B | 2B | 3B | OF

2021 Draft Prep

Relief Pitcher Preview

2021 Draft Prep

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2021 Draft Prep

Relief Pitcher Sleeper, Breakout, & Bust

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So which 2021 Fantasy baseball sleepers should you snatch in your draft? And which undervalued first baseman can help you win a championship? Visit SportsLine now to get Fantasy baseball rankings for every single position, all from the model that called Will Smith’s huge breakout last season, and find out.

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