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Closers to Target & Avoid at ADP (2023 Fantasy Baseball)

Mar 17, 2023
Saves + Holds Leagues Draft Targets (2023 Fantasy Baseball)

Some folks believe you should never pay up for saves in fantasy baseball drafts. Others just simply cannot resist the eye-popping strikeout rates and microscopic ratios of those early-round firemen that have a closing gig locked down. Probably the best way to approach the saves column is to land somewhere between those two extremes. Let’s take a look at which door slammers to target and which ones to avoid based on current ADP trends around the industry.

2023 Closers to Target & Avoid at ADP


Jordan Romano (TOR): ADP – Overall 67.0 | Closer 6

Romano has turned into one of the top closers in the game over the last couple of years. He nailed down 23 of 24 save chances alongside a 2.14 ERA in 2021. He followed that up with 36 saves and his first All-Star selection in 2022. His K% did drop more than five points from 33.6 to 28.3 last year, but that’s still a strong mark. On the plus side, Romano lowered his walk and home-run rate. He may not be quite as enticing as the top few options, but the draft price is far more reasonable.

Ryan Pressly (HOU): ADP – Overall 71.0 | Closer 7

Coming in right behind Romano in draft stock, Pressly picked up 33 saves for the World Series champs despite a couple of short stints on the IL last year. That gives the two-time All-Star three straight solid seasons at the back of the Astros’ pen. Over that span, he has worked to an excellent 2.70 ERA, 1.00 WHIP and 33.5 K% while converting nearly 88 percent of his save chances. Pressly should be seeing plenty of opportunities once again in 2023 as the Astros look to defend their title.

David Bednar (PIT): ADP – Overall 140.4 | Closer 14

Bednar is a rising star in the league that could prove to be the best RP value on the board by season’s end given his cost. Unfortunately, his breakout season as the Pirates’ closer last year was significantly interrupted by a nearly two-month stint on the IL from late-July to late-September due to lower back inflammation. Still, Bednar finished the season with a 2.61 ERA, 1.12 WHIP and 19 saves. He has also registered a K% above 32.0 in each of the last two years.

Bednar came back to make five appearances over the final couple weeks of last season and is healthy now. The Pirates are expected to be among the league’s bottom dwellers, but they will win some games. Bednar will be there to close them out.


Emmanuel Clase (CLE): ADP – Overall 39.8 | Closer 2

Mets’ closer Edwin Diaz (ADP 34.2 overall) is going too high in drafts for a closer, but Clase’s current stock is even more unreasonable. Yes, he has been phenomenal with his ratios while racking up 66 saves, including a league-leading 42 last year, over the past two seasons. However, to justify a fourth-round – sometimes third-round – selection, the strikeout rate must be otherworldly. With Clase, it’s simply not, as he has punched out 74 and 77 batters respectively over the last two years.

Clay Holmes (NYY): ADP – Overall 126.6 | Closer 13

Holmes is anything but a sure thing given how the second half of his season went last year. He was a breakout star in NYC during the first half, nailing down 16 saves alongside a 1.31 ERA as he supplanted Aroldis Chapman as the Yanks’ closer. The second half was a different story for Holmes. His ERA ballooned to 4.84 over 22 1/3 innings while his WHIP was 1.30. He will enter 2023 with the gig, but one has to imagine the leash is short. Wait a round and take Bednar instead.

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Nate Miller is a featured writer at FantasyPros and a 9-year veteran of the fantasy sports industry. For more from Nate, check out his archive and follow him on Twitter @Miller_RotoDad.

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