Assessing the best relievers 2022 might be the most complicated task entering this MLB season. You could either make your analysis from a fantasy baseball standpoint or even break it down in terms of the many different types of relief pitchers there are.
Best relievers 2022
The era of rock-solid bullpens seems to be a thing of the past right now. Bullpens and relief pitchers have struggled more than ever and are tougher to predict nowadays. But even among those rocky set-ups, closers, or middle-relief pitchers, some of them still stand out for their consistency and efficiency. Here, we present you with the top relievers in MLB 2022.
10. Jonathan Loaisiga
The New York Yankees have high hopes in Jonathan Loaisiga after signing him to his first big contract. The Nicaraguan youngster proved to be efficient as an opener, long reliever, and middle-reliever throughout the whole season, and some believe he could crack the team’s rotation at some point in the season.
He may not wow you with his whiff rate or speed, but he’s efficient and a solid all-around hurler.
9. Aroldis Chapman
Aroldis Chapman is coming off perhaps the worst season of his career. He walked nearly 16% of the hitters he faced and struggled mightily with control while also watching his velocity dip a little.
Even so, there’s no doubt he’ll continue to be Aaron Boone‘s go-to guy in the ninth. Moreover, the New York Yankees’ skipper even said that he can envision Chapman entering the game in the eighth inning more often than not. He’s not getting any younger but the Cuban Missile is one of the greatest relief pitchers of all time.
8. Jordan Romano
Even despite not being a traditional closer, Jordan Romano logged an impressive 23 saves last season. He was one of the few trustworthy guys in the Toronto Blue Jays’ rather shaky bullpen, topping 97 MPH with ease and forcing misses left and right.
His slider is just filthy and he’s expected to be the team’s closer in 2022, although we don’t expect the Blue Jays to play many close games this season.
7. Edwin Diaz
One of the best relievers right now, Edwin Diaz doesn’t get the credit he deserves from most fans. While the blown saves will always be a headache, he’s one of the best hurlers in the game in terms of allowing hard contact (just a 21.3% hard-hit percentage last season).
He knows he could be on the hot seat in 2022 if he continues to put the ball in play but he’s good enough to keep improving as he’s done on a yearly basis.
6. Devin Williams
While he wasn’t able to sustain his absurdly impressive numbers from his rookie COVID-19 shortened season, Devin Williams is still expected to make a massive impact this season.
He’s adding a slider to his repertoire, which could only make him even more of a threat. Through 81 innings of work, he’s posted a 1.78 ERA, 1.00 WHIP, and 140/37 K/BB ratio.
5. Emmanuel Clase
It was an easy choice for the team as he posted a 1.29 ERA with a 0.96 WHIP, forcing misses every time he was on the mound and rarely allowing hitters to put the ball in play. He can provide top-notch velocity while staying in perfect control, making him one of the top relievers in MLB 2022.
4. Ryan Pressly
Ryan Pressly continues to be one of the prime closers in Major League Baseball. He logged an absurd 0.97 WHIP with a 2.25 ERA last season, logging 26 saves for a team that rarely needed him after running past their rivals more often than not (they had 34 saves as a team).
To make things even more impressive, he posted a top-notch 32.4% strikeout rate, logging four straight seasons of at least 31% in that regard. He’s lights-out.
3. Raisel Iglesias
While committing $58 million to a 31-year-old reliever might seem risky, he sure earned every single penny after logging 34 saves with a 2.57 ERA, 0.93 WHIP, 103 strikeouts, and just 12 walks in 70 innings of work.
2. Liam Hendriks
Good teams need good closers and the Chicago White Sox sure have one of the best. Liam Hendriks is coming off a ridiculously good season, posting 113 strikeouts to just 7 walks.
He registered a 2.54 ERA with a 0.73 WHIP and converted 38 of 44 save opportunities. Hendriks was one of the main reasons why the White Sox were able to run out with the AL Central pennant and he’s shown no signs of slowing down despite being 33 years old already.
1. Josh Hader
Josh Hader isn’t only the best among the best relievers 2022 but he’s also on pace to become one of the greatest relief pitchers of all time. He logged 34 saves with 102 strikeouts and a 1.23 ERA across 58.2 innings of work in 2021, earning NL Reliever of the Year honors for the third time in the past four seasons.
Hader was rumored to be on the move for this season but the Milwaukee Brewers managed to avoid arbitration with a one-year, $11 million deal.
He’s nearly unhittable and is the best stopper in the league by a very wide margin. Also, the Brewers have the best pitching staff in the Majors, so it’s not like they’ll need him on the mound very often.
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