The secret to Kimbrel's, Walden's success
Updated: July 19, 2011, 2:07 PM ETBy Jason Grey
The 2011 baseball season has shown us yet again that you can still get saves, even elite stoppers, on the cheap. The No. 1 reliever on our Player Rater, the Braves' Craig Kimbrel, was the 22nd reliever picked, on average, in ESPN live drafts this preseason. The No. 3 reliever, the Pirates' Joel Hanrahan, was picked 27th. The Angels' Jordan Walden, 19th on the Player Rater (15th when you toss out the starting pitchers who qualify as relievers) and climbing, was, on average, the 36th relief pitcher taken this spring.
Kimbrel has always possessed the raw stuff that ranks right up there with any pitcher in baseball. He can be unhittable when he's on, and this year he has been able to find his control, for the most part, dropping his walk rate to less than four batters per nine innings while still being able to fan more than 14 batters per nine.
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