Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Schoenfield ranks Aroldis Chapman the second best closer in baseball

Chapman is rolling early in 2013
The baseball season is young, but there is still plenty of talk amongst "baseball people" about who the best teams and players in baseball are. David Schoenfield of ESPN.com put out his list, ranking Major League Baseball's current closers today and it's no surprise that the Reds Aroldis Chapman is very near to the top. In fact, he comes in at number two behind Atlanta's Craig Kilborn Kimbrel and just in front of the legendary Mariano Rivera.

Here's what Schoenfield had to say about Chapman:

2. Aroldis Chapman, Reds
I'm actually breaking my own rule here since Chapman has only been a closer for less than one season. But unless his control suddenly abandons him, he's obviously the real deal after striking out 122 in 71.2 innings last season.

Before becoming a closer: Lacked the secondary pitches and stamina to make it as a starter.

Schoenfield includes Chapman on his list of proven closers despite the fact that he has only been in the closer's role for one full season. He was convinced by Chapman's domination last year.

Chapman is definitely picking up where he left off last season. In five appearances, he has struck out nine over five innings while allowing two hits and two walks. He's 1-0, with a 0.00 ERA and two saves. Of course last season he was 5-5, with a 1.51 ERA and 38 saves with those ridiculous strikeout numbers shown above.

It's hard to argue with Schoenfield's judgement in this piece mainly because Kimbrel has been closing longer than Chapman, as evidenced by the two 40-plus save seasons he already has under his belt. The two are almost interchangeable though and any team would be happy to have either one of them.

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