If Drew Storen was on a better team, he’d get 50 saves.
Ok, maybe. FIrst off, all those years of saying that the Nationals suck are over. The 2012 Washington Nationals are poised for a playoff berth in a season that might have 10 teams make the playoffs. Storen have a fantastic sophomore season where he finished with 43 saves, 74 Ks, and a 2.75 ERA. He was 17/18 since August in saves and finished incredibly strong.
In 2012, the National have a strong rotation going into the season. With Stephen Strasburg, Jordan Zimmermann, Gio Gonzalez, and Edwin Jackson. Storen will have ample opportunity to close out wins for those four pitchers. Not only is the pitching staff stronger, but the Nats offense is a real threat in 2012. It includes Morse, Werth, Zimmerman, and ROY candidate Bryce Harper. The only problem the Nationals will have winning is remaining consistent and holding leads to even get to Drew Storen. The bullpen leading to Storen has allot talent, but again consistently is an issue. Tyler Clippard is a closer in waiting, but lefty Sean Burnett and Brad Lidge are guys to worry about remaining consistent.
One of the secrets to Storen’s success in 2011 was getting rid of his curveball, which worked well in college, but when closing in MLB curves don’t cut it. Two years ago I commented on his curveball being his out pitch and that it’s a terrible pitch for a closer. Here’s why. Hitters are swinging aggressively in the 9th inning. It’s their last chance and their mindset is go big or go home. Throwing a curveball is dangerous. First, they hang all the time and second they can still be hit even if it doesn’t hang. He instead threw his slider and 96 MPH fastball much more and the results were amazing.
While my projections are conservative, if the Nationals remain consistent and can adjust to the pressure of being a winning team, Storen could easily break 40 saves.
The Closer Report 2012 Projections: 39 Sv – 5 Wins – 2.40 ERA – 1.10 WHIP – 70 Ks
2012 Fantasy Draft Analysis:
Storen won’t be easy to draft at a bargain. He has a popular name and is likely on most owners wish list at a 43 save season. While, he is a closer I’ll likely avoid because he will just cost too much, he is still a great addition to your fantasy bullpen if the price is right. He has the second highest ADP amongst closers and will likely cost you a 7th or 8th round draft pick. Right now, I value Storen no earlier than the 12th round. There are just more consistent closers on better teams available later in the draft. Overall recommendation, pass on Drew Storen.