By Todd Farino, The Closer Report
Heath Bell has been one of the more dominating closers over the past three years. He has a combined 132 saves and a career ERA 3.06, but in the past three years his ERA never went over 2.71. Bell is a fastball/curveball closer who relies strikeouts to get his saves. He constantly will challenge hitters because of the safety net he had at PETCO Park. PETCO is infamously known as a pitcher’s park, so Bell had relative comfort in throwing strikes and still getting long outs. Now he ventures to the new ballpark in Miami, but his luck won’t change. the dimensions of the new Marlins ballpark are even more pitcher friendly in certain areas.
Bell is not only one of the elite closers of 2012, he is also closing for a team poised for a deep playoff run. At 34, Bell is no spring chicken and is at the tail end of his prime. Still, he has a track record of health and is a closer that can throw 80+ innings when asked.
The Marlins have a powerful offense, solid starting pitching, and a growing fan base. Bell will produce heavily for fantasy owners.
The Closer Report 2012 Projections: 45 Sv – 4 Wins – 2.56 ERA – 1.17 WHIP – 55 Ks
2012 Fantasy Draft Analysis:
Bell should be the first closer picked. You know what you will get with him. I suspect he will go as early as the fourth round, but because of the team change, so managers might avoid him altogether and let someone else take on his new team risk. That would be a mistake. Personally, I wouldn’t take a closer till the 6th round at best, so avoid Bell any earlier than that.