Dodgers News: Kenley Jansen Ranked Top-10 Relief Pitcher By MLB Network’s The Shredder
Robert Hanashiro-USA TODAY Sports

Los Angeles Dodgers closer Kenley Jansen was ranked the third-best relief pitcher in all of baseball by MLB Network’s The Shredder. Jansen placed second on analyst Mike Petriello’s list; was ranked third by Vince Gennaro, Bill James and Brian Kenny; and fifth by Dan Plesac.

Jansen was ranked third by The Shredder heading into the 2014 season, though fell off the top-10 lists in 2015 and 2016. While the Curacao native was long-known in Los Angeles, Jansen entrenched himself in the national spotlight last season.

“I think there’s an upper-shelf of the top superstars, and I think Jansen is firmly in that group,” Kenny said. Although Plesac had Jansen lower on his list, the power right-hander nonetheless drew further praise.

“I think he really cemented himself in the postseason by pitching multiple innings. That made me look at Kenley Jansen a lot differently,” Plesac said.

“He’s the closest thing we’ve seen to Mariano Rivera. One dominant pitch, that power cutter, he throws it to lefties and righties. He’s one of the top relievers in the game.”

Among relievers who logged a minimum of 40 innings last season, Jansen was first in WHIP (0.67) and opponents’ batting average (.150), second in FIP (1.44) and opponents’ on-base plus slugging percentage (.446), and third in strikeout rate (41.4 percent).

He finished the season tied for second in the Majors with 47 saves, posted a 1.83 ERA, and earned a first-career trip to the All-Star Game. Jansen holds the Dodgers franchise record for most saves all-time, surpassing Eric Gagne’s mark.

After a successful, if not dominant regular season, Jansen held opponents scoreless in six of seven appearances, and threw a then-career-high 51 pitches and 2.1 innings in Game 5 of the NL Division Series against the Nationals.

Jansen then exceeded that workload by throwing three shutout innings against the Chicago Cubs in Game 6 of the NL Championship Series.

Since becoming a full-time closer in 2014, Jansen has 127 saves with a 2.32 ERA, 1.80 FIP, 0.86 WHIP and averaged 13.8 strikeouts per nine innings. Dating back to that same span, Jansen’s 1.80 FIP is third-best among relievers with a minimum of 120 innings pitched.

Aroldis Chapman (1.46 FIP) and Andrew Miller (1.78) are first and second, respectively. Last month, Jansen was ranked the No. 3 relief pitcher by ESPN’s Buster Olney.

The Shredder 2017 rankings included below.

RankThe ShredderBrian KennyDan Plesac
1Andrew Miller (Indians)Andrew Miller (Indians)Zach Britton (Orioles)
2Aroldis Chapman (Cubs)Zach Britton (Orioles)Andrew Miller (Indians)
3Zach Britton (Orioles)Kenley Jansen (Dodgers)Aroldis Chapman (Cubs)
4Kenley Jansen (Dodgers)Aroldis Chapman (Cubs)Jeurys Familia (Mets)
5Wade Davis (Cubs)Wade Davis (Cubs)Kenley Jansen (Dodgers)
6Mark Melancon (Giants)Mark Melancon (Giants)Mark Melancon (Giants)
7Seung-Hwan Oh (Cardinals)Dellin Betances (Yankees)Cody Allen (Indians)
8Dellin Betances (Yankees)Seung-Hwan Oh (Cardinals)Craig Kimbrel (Red Sox)
9Jeurys Familia (Mets)Edwin Diaz (Mariners)Dellin Betances (Yankees)
10Will Harris (Astros)Ken Giles (Astros)Roberto Osuna (Blue Jays)