When it became clear that the volatile Jose Valverde would not be resigned, the question arose in fantasy circles on who would be the next closer for the Tigers. Joquin Benoit and Phil Coke, two savvy vets with ample late inning experience, looked to be possible replacements for the departed Valverde.
According to a report on MLB Network, it appears as though 22 fireballer Bruce Rondon is the early leader to assume the role as closer for Jim Leyland. Rondon, a 22 year old righty from Valencia, Venezuela, pitched an impressive 1.53 ERA in 53 appearences in the Tiger’s minor league system, with a SO/9 rate of 11.2 to go along with a WHIP of 1.094.
If he does in fact win the starting role this spring, Rondon could be a nice late round target in all formats. His upside is huge considering how many safe opportunities his team will present, however, his lack of experience in a high-pressure role could prove problematic. Regardless of the risk, he is a guy to monitor this spring.