MLB: Ranking the Top 10 Closers in Baseball Right Now

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# 10John AxfordMilwaukee Brewers.

Age: 29

2012 Stats: 4.67 ERA / 93 K’s / 35 Saves / 1.44 WHIP / 69.1 IP.

Career Stats: 3.06 ERA / 264 K’s / 106 Saves / 1.27 WHIP / 208.2 IP.

July 29, 2012; Milwaukee, WI, USA; Milwaukee Brewers pitcher John Axford (59) during the game against the Washington Nationals at Miller Park. Mandatory Credit: Benny Sieu-USA TODAY Sports

Not counting his short 2009 season where Axford only pitched 7.2 innings to earn a single save, he’s actually been one of the better closers in baseball over the last three years, accumulating one hundred five saves during that span — which surpasses Craig Kimbrel.  Even though he’s only twenty nine and is entering  the prime of his career, there is a possibility that Axford could take the next step and become a top five closer in the next few seasons.

He walks a lot more than one would like, but he’s only had three full seasons of Major League experience, and he’s done quite well for a three year player.  His peripherals indicate that the walks could become a problem if he doesn’t fix that specific flaw soon, as walks usually lead to runs – with him its where most of the damage comes from, as he’ll continue to walk more batters with men already on.

Establishing yourself as a reliable closer is important no matter what your walk count may be, and can be fixed.  As long as he continues to strikeout more batters than innings pitched – which he does – he should be fine