2019 Positional Power Rankings: Bullpen (No. 1-15)

This morning, Dan Szymborski took us through the back end of the bullpen rankings. Now, we conclude the player rankings (a summary will run tomorrow) with the best bullpens in baseball.

“Relievers are volatile” is something that people say all the time. I happen to believe it is true, and here are two illustrations of how. First, Craig Kimbrel is not in these rankings because he has yet to sign. Below you will find the 15 best-projected bullpens. If Kimbrel were to sign with all but the Marlins or Royals on the list of the 15 worst-projected bullpens, they would appear on this list. Further, he would take any team covered below and put them in second place except for the Yankees, who would still be in first.

The second illustration has to do with the narrow band of reliever performances given the small sample they work under. If we were to consider a good but not great position player projected for three wins, and that player finished anywhere between two and four wins, we might not even notice. At any rate, we’d see that player as having come close to his projected result. If we were to take a good reliever, projected for one win, and that player finished between zero and two wins, that reliever was either really bad or one of the best relievers in the game. It makes breakouts a bit easier, but also takes presumably valuable relievers and makes them a lightning rod for fans. What I’m saying is, don’t get too worked up over these rankings. Look for the potential two-win relievers and dream on them. Bullpens already cause enough stress to fret too much over rankings.

Craig Edwards can be found on twitter @craigjedwards.

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5 years ago

Great post.

One interesting thing I noticed right off the bat is the shocking disparity in walk rate between the Yankees and the Astros top five or six relievers.

Pepper Martin
5 years ago
Reply to  CRPerry13

When you throw 100 mph, your walks go up.