Craig Kimbrel is still about as filthy as they come in nailing down games in the Majors. With 225 Saves and a 1.63 ERA in the last 5 years of his career, this 27 year old flamethrower brings his talents to Beantown and a top rated club. Last year was the 1st season he didn’t lead the National League after four consecutive years of leading the Senior Circuit. He still managed 39 Saves for a 74 win San Diego team. Since the Red Sox are going to be somewhere in the 90 win range, Kimbrel should at least be in the mid 40’s in Saves again for 2016.
Hunter Stokes (BBBA Featured Writer)
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Figuring out the Saves Leaders for the 2016 year is a lot easier to project than the Holds Leaders we did last week. Perhaps the easiest to discern is also the National League.
Since I projected 7 teams will win 90+ games in the Senior Circuit I have listed 5 teams with their Closer out of the fold there. I did however, leave out Hector Rondon and Mark Melancon.
I feel the Bucs may trade Melancon despite being in a position to make the playoffs. I also think the Cubs will blow out a ton of clubs this season in games, and therefore not need Rondon to lockdown a 3 run or under lead.
This is the same reason why I won’t label Roberto Osuna for the top 5 in the American League either. It is also not unfathomable to see the Jays go with Drew Storen to close down games.
I fully think that Craig Kimbrel will lead the entire Major Leagues for the Boston Red Sox as their Closer.
I may have gone with Aroldis Chapman on the list as well, however his pending suspension for his domestic violence call in should see him riding pine for at least 25 games. The New York Yankees should still lead the Junior Circuit for total team Saves.
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