A recent visitor to our site was looking for auction values for fantasy baseball players who accumulate holds. That’s an interesting request. Could hold guys be more valuable than closers? Let’s take a look.
If you’re in a league that tracks holds, congratulations. Holds is a category that needs to be used in fantasy baseball, where the traditional 5×5 is stale. It opens up a whole other group of players to the fantasy owner. A hold is awarded when a relief pitcher enters the game in a save situation, but does not get the save or blow the save. He holds the competition at a standstill.
A ranking of the projected top 50 holds players in 2009 according to CBS Sports fantasy site’s projections is included at right. I’ve included WHIP, holds and saves on the list, and you should notice quickly that many of the top holds guys will acquire a few saves. A couple of the top saves guys are going to acquire some holds. Some elite relievers are going rack up at least 15 of each according to the projections. Typically, setup men have good ERA and WHIP numbers, too.
That still leaves us with the questions, how much do you pay?
As long as holds are worth the same as saves in your league, these values are easy. Treat them like middle of the road closers. How much would you pay for a reliever with good ERA and WHIP and an expected 20 saves? That’s how much you should pay for someone like Scott Linebrink who’s projected for 23 holds.
Someone like Manny Corpas — of course this is based on the assumption you believe the projections you’re using — should be considered a 41-save closer with a 1.40 WHIP. According to CBS’ projections, he’ll have 22 holds and 19 saves at the end of the year.
If you play in a points league, where each statistic is worth a set amount of points, your mileage may vary. But the method is still solid. Both closers and setup men get limited appearances, but their innings pitched come in high-pressure situations. Some throw hard and some just get outs. It’s a remarkably close comparison, use it to your advantage.