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Tuesday, January 26, 2021

2021 FANTASY BASEBALL PLAYER ANALYZER: BRAD HAND CLOSER WASHINGTON NATIONALS




It has been well-documented over the last few years that despite winning a World Series Championship, the Washington Nationals have had some of the most pronounced bullpen struggles in all of baseball.  That included a revolving door at closer as the team searched for any sort of stability there without much success.  Well perhaps that was remedied for at least 2021 after the Nats came to agreement on a one-year deal worth $10.5 million with free agent All-Star closer Brad Hand on Sunday.  Despite getting cut loose by the Cleveland Indians this winter in a move that was designed to cut costs for the team and not about anything performance-related, Hand ends up in a good place on a contending Washington team that tends to play tight games and supply a high amount of save chances due to their stout starting rotation.  Certainly Hand did his job in 2020 as he recorded an MLB-leading 16 saves with a 2.05 ERA , 0.77 WHIP, and 29 strikeouts in just 22 innings pitched.  That performance marked the fourth time in the last five seasons that Hand has recorded an ERA under 3.00 and also in that span, he has posted a K/9 rate over 11.00' with him going over 13.00 twice in that same range.  Turning just 31 in March, Hand remains at the top of his game and should be included in the Liam Hendricks, Aroldis Chapman, Josh Hader tier as top closers for 2021 fantasy baseball.  

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