Hold Off Till Later!

I’m in a 12 team roto league with 4 relief pitching spots and counts holds and saves. Where do you draft Top setup pitchers like Betancourt, Broxton, Bell and Okajima? If top Closers Papelbon, Putz, K-Rod and Nathan get drafted in the top 7 rounds, where should I be looking to draft for holds?

Thanks for the advice
Mike from Hamilton

Mike,

Although it’s important to have two reliable middle relievers in this format, here’s why you don’t overpay for the “top” names:

2007 MAJOR LEAGUE HOLDS LEADERS  (2006 total in parenthesis) 

2.  Heath Bell   34  (0)

3.  Jon Rauch   33   (18)

5.  Jonathan Broxton   32   (12)

6.  Rafael Betancourt   31  (7)

10.  Ryan Franklin   25     (8)

These five guys all ranked in the top 10 in holds last year, but their 2006 totals are less than impressive.  Now some of this can be attributed to a significant hike in innings from ’06 to ’07 (Bell’s IP almost tripled), but the point I’m trying to make is that while saves are somewhat predictable (a closer is a closer), holds vary greatly from year to year.  Sure, selecting a name brand middle reliever gives you a better chance at piling up holds, but I’d much sooner wait and take a player with good WHIP and K numbers who figures to get plenty of late inning opportunities.  Continue to prioritize closers, and wait until at least the middle rounds (12 at earliest) before even thinking about middle relief.

Zach Steinhorn, MLB.com   

1 Comment

We’ve had holds as a category forever. My only concern is I like to ‘handcuff’ a team’s set-up man and closer. I don’t go for the big-time closers, unless they fall in my lap. Getting their set-up men gives you the holds, and insures against injuries as well. Without handcuffs in mind I don’t even draft other RP’s, as it’s not readily apparent who will help you from year to year until the regular season gets into full swing.

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