Monday, March 24, 2014

Aroldis Chapman tagged as second-best closer by 'Baseball Tonight'

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For the second consecutive year, the ESPN Baseball Tonight crew has tagged Aroldis Chapman as the second-best closer in baseball, trailing only Craig Kimbrel of the Atlanta Braves.

The top five list, which was unveiled Monday, can be seen here.

To compile the top 100, more than 40 ESPN experts were polled in February, starting with a list of more than 350 players. Using a 0-to-100 scale, they evaluated the players based only on how well they will perform in 2014. Players expected to miss 2014 with an injury were not included. 

Of course, Chapman is expected to miss at least a little time this season due to injury. He was on the wrong end of a line drive to the face in a spring training game last week and is expected to be out until May while he recovers.

The physical rehabilitation from the injury is one thing. But the mental rehabilitation from such a scary ordeal is quite entirely another. Some have already suggested that the southpaw may never be mentally the same after the experience. And who could blame him if that's the ultimate case?

However, it seems to me that Chapman is a different breed. The 26-year-old has always possessed this certain fearlessness and moxy to him that other players generally lack. So, if there's anyone who can bounce back from this setback it's him.

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