Our 2011 fantasy baseball projections will be released one-by-one until the top 100 players have been revealed. These rankings consider past achievements, current performance and expected future results based on standard 5×5 H2H settings.
Carlos Marmol had one of the most mind-boggling seasons in 2010 among any position. His strikeout total of 138 was higher than that of 10 starters who logged at least 200 innings. His strikeout rate (15.99) was the highest among both starters and relievers in at least 40 years (I called off the search after 1970).
Marmol’s contact rate (61.3 percent) was by far the best among pitchers who logged at least 60 innings last season. He also boasted the best slider in the majors, checking it at 19.0 runs above average. Marmol ranked eighth in saves with 38, and his FIP (2.01) actually suggests he was better than his 2.55 ERA indicates.
Yet despite these mind-blowing numbers, Marmol doesn’t come without risk. He walked a whopping 6.03 batters per nine last season, worst among relief pitchers.
While he did save 15 games in 2009, last year was Marmol’s first full season as the Cubs’ closer. Given the ridiculous turnover rate at the position each season, I tend to warn against drafting inexperienced closers so highly.
There’s no denying Marmol’s talent, but a regression in strikeouts (and perhaps batting average against, .147 in ’10) are likely to occur. While a sub-3.00 ERA is realistic, his obscene walk totals will prevent him from posting an elite WHIP. Given that Mariano Rivera and Brian Wilson come with much less risk attached, Marmol checks in as the third-ranked closer, on my 2011 big board, No. 92 overall.
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Image courtesy of: Chris Creamer, Sportslogos.net
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- No. 91: Brian Wilson
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Tags: Carlos Marmol