MLB: Ranking the Top 10 Closers in Baseball Right Now

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# 1 – Craig Kimbrel – Atlanta Braves

Age: 24

2012 Stats: 1.01 ERA / 116 K’s / 42 Saves / 0.65 WHIP / 62.2 IP.

Career Stats: 1.46 ERA / 283 K’s / 89 Saves/ 0.91 WHIP / 160.1 IP.

Career K/9: 15.89.

Career K/BB: 4.05.

September 14, 2012; Atlanta, GA, USA; Atlanta Braves relief pitcher Craig Kimbrel (46) celebrates during the game against the Washington Nationals at Turner Field. Mandatory Credit: Daniel Shirey-USA TODAY Sports

With an eye popping eighty nine saves in only three years of big league experience, we can already see the type of player this young, dynamic, powerhouse of a closer Kimbrel is quickly becoming.  It seems the Braves have struck gold in the flame-throwing righty, whose presence during the ninth inning is invaluable to his club in a now upgraded National League East.  Averaging ninety four strikeouts a season, Kimbrel added to his impressive resume by setting the record for strikeouts by a rookie in a single season, with one hundred twenty seven in 2011, the same year he broke – and eventually set – the record for saves by a rookie in a single season, with forty six.

Young and durable, at only twenty four years of age, Kimbrel has established himself as one of the most elite closers in the game.  With a devastating four-seam fastball that reaches one hundred to one hundred one miles per hour, and a dominating curve ball, Kimbrel’s arsenal might be limited, but it is tops in the majors, and he has the record to prove it.

He may not have as much experience as some of the other closers on this list, but he has shown that given time, he could prove to be the next Trevor Hoffman or Mariano Rivera.  His age, high ceiling, control of pitches, ability to close in a tough division, and general effectiveness gives him the number one spot on this list.

And oh yeah, did I mention he’s only twenty four?