Rangers Sam Dyson: Top-20 Closer Potential in 2017

Rangers relief pitcher Sam Dyson pitched well all season, but came in and dominated as the team’s closer. What is his fantasy value for next season?

The Texas Rangers are going move-for-move with the Houston Astros this offseason. The front office signed a starting pitcher to bolster the rotation. The one thing the Rangers have over the Astros is their bullpen. One relief pitcher that impressed since joining the Rangers in 2015 was Sam Dyson. As the likely closer, what is his fantasy value for next season?

The Texas Rangers traded with the Miami Marlins for Dyson at the 2015 trade deadline. Up until that point, Dyson had a 3.87 ERA and 1.44 WHIP. He posted a 80:39 K:BB ratio in 97.2 innings. He was nothing great, which is why the Rangers didn’t have to give up much in return.

In the second half of the 2015, Dyson pitched a lot better. In 31.1 innings, he had a 1.15 ERA, 0.894 WHIP and 30 strikeouts. He showed he could be a closer by recording two saves, in what was a sign of things to come.

Dyson began the 2016 season as the set-up man for then-closer Shawn Tolleson. It didn’t last long as Tolleson had a 10.13 ERA, 2.00 WHIP and 11 saves in 15 opportunities.

Dyson recorded his first save on May 11 and took over from there.

At the end of the season, he had 38 saves with a 2.43 ERA, 1.22 WHIP and 55 strikeouts. The Rangers had a couple of other relief pitchers come in and record a save, but it was Dyson’s job for the rest of the season.

Dyson finished as the No. 15 relief pitcher on the Player Rater. That does include a couple of starting pitchers with relief pitcher eligibility. With little competition, Dyson’s fantasy owners were set without having to worry about him losing his job.

ESPN’s Tristan H. Cockcroft ranks Dyson as the 22nd best closer as of four days ago. Looking at some of the relievers ranked ahead of him, there is no reason he can’t finish inside the top-20, if not the top-15.

Dyson pitched well at home, 1.00 ERA and 0.806 with 18 saves. He recorded 20 saves on the road, but his ratio stats were much worse. He had a 3.93 ERA and 1.66 WHIP. The only team he struggled against was the Astros. Dyson had a 4.66 ERA and 1.241 WHIP in 10 appearances.

If he can pitcher better on the road and agains the Astros, then you will have a top-tier closer on your roster. I don’t know how he can adjust, but fantasy owners are hoping he can.

Unless the Rangers sign another relief pitcher, Dyson is the closer to own. I don’t think Tolleson wins the job back. Dyson should be drafted as a top-20 closer, between round 17 and 19.

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