Drew Storen Should Be Drafted As a Closer in 2016


The closer position is a very fluid position. It’s all about which pitcher is hot at any given moment. If the closer at the beginning of the season is struggling, that team will look within or elsewhere to find someone who can get the job done. However, in some instances, a team trades for a closer when they already have a solid ninth-inning guy. Just look at the Washington Nationals and Drew Storen

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Storen was pitching great in the first half of 2015, but the team made a trade for Jonathan Papelbon and Storen was relegated to a set-up role for the second half. Regardless of Papelbon’s status with the team in 2016, Storen should be drafted as a closer next year.

Even earlier than this season, Drew Storen was a solid closer in 2011. He racked up 43 saves in 75.1 innings with a 2.75 ERA and 1.02 WHIP. He lost the job to Rafael Soriano, but reclaimed this season. Storen recorded 11 saves last year, but entered the year with the chance to record 30-35 saves.

From April 8 to June 30 (before the Papelbon trade), Drew Storen had 29 saves, 1.69 ERA and 0.99 WHIP in 37.1 innings. Then Papelbon joined the team and Storen’s value plummeted. From Aug. 1 to the end of the season, Storen had three blown saves, four holds, 7.56 ERA and 1.44 WHIP.

When he joined the Nationals, Papelbon had seven saves in nine opportunities, 3.04 ERA and 1.10 WHIP in 23.2 innings. There is one important stat that has nothing to do with a thrown ball, and that is one Bryce Harper head slammed against the dugout wall.

Papelbon has been known as a hot-head and polarizing figure in baseball. Despite the great first half with the Philadelphia Phillies (17 saves, 1.59 ERA and 0.98 WHIP), the team was willing to trade him. With the confrontation late in the season, questions began surfacing of Papelbon’s stay in Washington. He has one year for $13 million left on his contract.

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  • Even if Papelbon stays on the team, I think Drew Storen still needs to be drafted. Even though the only way Storen gets his job back is if Papelbon is traded, he’s a good enough pitcher to be worth drafting. The Nationals play in a poor division, where three of their four opponents finished in the bottom half in hits, runs and batting average.

    The Nationals are a weird team, which explains why they traded for a closer when they already had one. I still think Drew Storen makes some appearances in the ninth inning, but not enough to be drafted as a top-20 closer like he was this season. He is the better pitcher of the two, so let’s hope the new management will see that.

    Projections: 2-2, 11 saves, 58 strikeouts, 3.20 ERA, 1.19 WHIP

    Draft: Round 20

    Next: Tyson Ross: Fantasy Ace Next Season?