2020 Positional Power Rankings: Bullpen (No. 1-15)on July 21, 2020 at 3:00 pm

2020 Positional Power Rankings: Bullpen (No. 1-15)

This morning, Jason Martinez took us through the back-end of the bullpen rankings. Now, we conclude the player rankings (a summary will run tomorrow) the same way most great baseball games do: with elite bullpens.

A substantial caveat for readers: There are some positions for which there is a cleaner, wider gap between the top teams and the bottom, where we can more definitively say that some teams are better than others. For instance, it’s clear the best center field situation belongs to the Angels because of Mike Trout, and that Cleveland belongs at or near the top of the shortstop hierarchy because of Francisco Lindor. Relief pitching is not one of these positions. Sure, we have the bullpens ranked, and you can see their statistical projections above and below, but notice the margins here, and that they’re even thinner than usual because of a shortened season, and recall how volatile relievers are generally. Winning a single, close, coin-flip game is more significant this year than ever before, which means bullpen performance will simultaneously be as meaningful and as volatile as ever.

I’m interested in the benefits of stocking bullpens with pitchers who have varied release points, as well as mechanical looks and repertoire shapes that are different from one another, so I’ve included rudimentary overlays of some of each team’s reliever release points to hopefully give visual learners a more concrete idea of what I’m talking about, while also highlighting which teams seem to care more about having varied looks than others.

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