3. A.J. Minter, Atlanta Braves
Minter had a tremendous season serving as a setup man for Brian Snitker a year ago and has become a high-quality reliever over the past three seasons, thanks to a filthy fastball and cutter combo, in which he improved the location of them last year, leading to a walk rate cut in half. Since 2020, Minter has a 2.50 ERA in 144 innings pitched with a 3.98 strikeout-to-walk ratio and has allowed just eight home runs.
2. Raisel Iglesias, Atlanta Braves
There are smart people out there that say the Braves probably don’t win the division in 2022 without acquiring Raisel Iglesias from the Angels in a last-minute deadline deal last summer. He allowed just one earned run in 26.1 innings pitched as a Brave. It always made sense because he was an excellent closer going back to his days with Cincinnati. With Kenley Jansen no longer in Atlanta, he is projected to be the full-time closer. It is a role he’s familiar with, as his 151 saves since 2017 are the third most in the majors in this span, only behind Jansen and Edwin Diaz.
1. Edwin Diaz, New York Mets
What more can we say about him. Diaz is the first reliever to score a nine-figure contract in baseball history, and it was cashed in following total domination in 2022, where he rode his unhittable at times slider to greatness. Last year, he had a 1.31 ERA and struck out 118 of the 235 batters he faced (or 50.2 percent) and issued just 18 walks in 62 innings. His walkout song “Narco” by Timmy Trumpet and Blasterjaxx was played by many college football stadiums across the country thanks to his brilliance and dominance with the Orange and Blue.