On to part 10 of our series ranking the best players at each position in baseball. Here are the top 10 relievers:
There is no sign of diminishment in Kimbrel's power stuff; in fact, Kimbrel's average fastball velocity of 97.0 mph last season was the highest of his career. He allowed just two homers in 61⅔ innings and converted 47 of 51 save attempts.
You'd be way out on a limb to suggest anyone might have the kind of career enjoyed by the two most decorated relievers in history in Mariano Rivera, whose postseason performance puts him on a mountaintop all his own, and Trevor Hoffman. But Kimbrel will be 26 years old when the 2015 season begins and needs only 14 more saves for 200 in his career, and he already is showing a range of pitch repertoire that he can reach for when he begins to lose velocity.
One stat to show Kimbrel's dominance: He has faced 1,127 batters in his career and struck out 476 of them, or 42 percent.
For the first time in his career, Chapman's average fastball velocity was over 100 mph in 2014.