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Key Stats: Yesterday was crazy – sorry for the lack of a post for those of you who have been hitting reload for the last twenty-four hours. Today being Christmas Eve, there is a present for FBHS readers – a doubleheader of player profiles!

With more than a strikeout per inning and over 40 saves, Heath Bell had only the second best pitching season of his last three seasons. His year in 2007 was actually better from all perspectives besides fantasy where holds usually don’t hold any value. In that 2007 season he had a better WHIP, ERA, more innings, and more strikeouts at a similar rate to what he had last year. So although last year was the first that he showed up on the fantasy radar, don’t call his season a career year.

Skeptics Say: The Rangers are one of the teams that has been linked to Bell this offseason. In all likelihood he would close for them, so it’s not like his value would plummet, but Arlington is a long ways from San Diego. The Padres have a history of hanging onto closers as they age (actually it’s just Trevor Hoffman but he has existed my whole fantasy baseball career so that’s the Padres history to me), so hanging onto Bell at age 32 can happen. Problem is there’s a new owner, new GM and new philosophy in San Diego. Bell is under team control until 2011 which gives the Padres more time to trade him, but makes him a stronger trade chip now. This move would crush his value as the team outlook explains.

Peer Comparison: Bell is considered to be the eighth best reliever by CBS and that number can really fluctuate. Consider though that Jonathan Papelbon, Joe Nathan and Mariano Rivera have been top tier closers for at least four years now. If you want something reliable and you are willing to reach slightly higher for Bell, you might as well reach slightly more higher for one of those three guys. At the same time, the classic argument for why not to take a closer always holds true. Players like Huston Street and Bell were sliding off the radar last year while David Aardsma and Andrew Bailey were not even after thoughts heading into the season. That changed and the relief pitchers usually change radically from year to year too. My advice is to snag one sure bet at closer and go risk/reward with the rest. Bell would fit the category of a sure bet at number 102.

Team Outlook: San Diego only won 75 games and traded away their best pitcher last year, so they aren’t going to compete. So what? Bell was able to save 42 of their 75 wins and will have the opportunity to close in Pitcher’s Best Friend Park again in 2010. Bell’s ERA was a half run lower at home. That’s pretty much become the standard as Edward Mujica’s ERA was more than 2 runs better at home and Chris Young had more than a 5 run difference at home and away for the Padres.

What They’re Saying: CBS Sportsline: #8 Relief Pitcher; ESPN.com: #89 Overall; Yahoo: #7 Relief Pitcher and #109 Overall; Mock Draft Central ADP: #99 Overall; Couch Managers: #108 Overall; FB 365: #8 Relief Pitcher

Projection: Let’s assume he stays in San Diego until at least July.
2 wins 37 saves 2.52 ERA 1.16 WHIP 78K in 71 innings

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4 Responses to Heath Bell Player Projection No. 103

  1. Brozif says:

    what happened to #102???

  2. Schruender says:

    Thank you Brozif. You are my cheif editor. And when I say cheif I think you know you need to comment about fixing the spelling a little bit too.

  3. Dave says:

    Proud to be one of the FBHS devotees checking in on Christmas Eve :)

    Happy Hollidays (sic) Mark!

  4. Schruender says:

    Thanks Dave you too!

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