Relief pitching and closers are key parts of a team functioning properly. Nothing is as devastating to the moral of a ball club like a shaky bullpen or a closer you can't trust. Leads evaporate, wins disappear, and playoff series that you should win can be lost. Staffing a bullpen is tricky as most of these pitchers are inconsistent and prone to errors. In close ball games even a walk can start nervous murmurs around a stadium.
How to choose the best young relief pitchers & closers in MLB The Show 19's Franchise Mode
This article will be looking at the best young relief pitchers and closing pitchers MLB The Show 19's Franchise Mode has to offer. These players are all aged 25 or under, are on an MLB roster when you start a Franchise Mode, and have either RP or CP as their primary position. There may well be some talented relievers and closers in the Minor Leagues in your Franchise Mode but with their stats and abilities being so variable save to save we can't give you an accurate assessment of their quality. So who are the best young relievers and closers in The Show 19?
*For a full list please see the table below
Roberto Osuna, Houston Astros (OVR 93)
Pitches: 4-Seam Fastball, Slurve, 2-Seam Fastball, Changeup, Cutter
Best Stats: Break (99), BB/9 (89), Clutch (85), Control (85), Velocity (85), HR/9 (80)
Roberto Osuna got his MLB debut in 2015 with the Toronto Blue Jays, pitching in 68 games wit a 2.58 ERA and 20 saves. That rookie year put him in the closer job for the start of the 2016 season and he began to excel. He picked up 36 saves with a 2.68 ERA and a 0.932 WHIP. He backed that performance level up with 39 saves in 2017. He was traded to the Houston Astros mid-season in 2018 to help their World Series push.
In The Show 19 Roberto Osuna has superb break (99) to create problems for hitters with his slurve and cutter. He has the velocity (85) and control (85) to get his pitches over for strikes and the clutch (85) ability to not stress at the end of games or in the playoffs. He has a 5-pitch repertoire which is rare for closer too.
Edwin Diaz, New York Mets (OVR 90)
Pitches: 4-Seam Fastball, Slider, Changeup, 2-Seam Fastball
Best Stats: Break (99), K/9 (99), Velocity (96), H/9 (96), Clutch (88), Control (75)
Edwin Diaz got his MLB debut in 2016 with the Seattle Mariners. He appeared in 49 games, pitching 51.2 innings with a 2.79 ERA and getting 18 saves. That was enough to give him the full-time closer gig with the Mariners in 2017 where he finished with 34 saves and a 3.27 ERA. 2018 was Diaz's best season to date, he had an amazing 1.96 ERA with a MLB-high 57 saves for the Mariners and was traded to the Mets in the winter to be their closer.
In The Show 19 Edwin Diaz has a deadly velocity (96) and break (99) combination which makes him a strikeout master (K/9 99). He is good in the clutch (88) and has enough control (75) of his stuff to avoid too many walks.
Jose Alvarado, Tampa Bay Rays (OVR 88)
Pitches: 2-Seam Fastball, Curveball, 4-Seam Fastball, Slider
Best Stats: Break (99), Velocity (99), H/9 (92), HR/9 (92), K/9 (84), Clutch (75)
Jose Alvarado got his debut for the Tampa Bay Rays in 2017, pitching 29.2 innings with a 3.64 ERA. In 2018 he saw some time in closing situations, improving his ERA to 2.39, posting a terrific 11.3 K/9 and making 8 saves. That performance was enough to win the closer job for the Rays in 2019.
In The Show 19 Jose Alvarado is a velocity (99) and break (99) master. While his K/9 (84) doesn't reflect his strikeout potential he has the ability to put away any hitter with his 98 mph fastball and the slider/curve options at his disposal. He can limit hits (92) and home runs (92) against too, and while his clutch (75) rating isn't as good as you'd like he can still get the job done at the end of games.
Jose Leclerc, Texas Rangers (OVR 87)
Pitches: 4-Seam Fastball, Slider, Changeup, 2-Seam Fastball
Best Stats: Break (99), K/9 (99), H/9 (99), Velocity (88), HR/9 (86), Clutch (76)
Jose Leclerc got his MLB debut in 2016 with the Texas Rangers, pitching just 15 innings with a 1.80 ERA. In 2017 he saw more action but lost some production but in 2018 he had a quality season, throwing 57.2 innings in 59 appearances with 12 saves and a 1.56 ERA. He was a little homer-prone but had a tremendous 13.3 K/9.
In The Show 19 Jose Leclerc is a strikeout master (K/9 99) and is tough to hit well (H/9 99). His break (99) is excellent with good velocity (88) on his fastballs. He struggles with control (35) so will give up some walks but the strikeouts should off-set that. He is also good in the clutch (76).
Diego Castillo, Tampa Bay Rays (OVR 84)
Pitches: Cutter, Sinker, 4-Seam Fastball, Slider
Best Stats: Breal (99), Velocity (99), H/9 (85), Clutch (82), K/9 (81)
Diego Castillo got his MLB debut in 2018 with the Tampa Bay Rays, pitching 56.2 innings in 43 appearances which included 11 starts. As a reliever he posted a 3.40 ERA with a strong 10.0 K/9.
In The Show 19 Diego Castillo is superb. His break (99) and velocity (99) combo is elite and while the K/9 (81) isn't great in your hands he can be a strikeout king. He's good enough in the clutch (82) to fill in at closer if Alvarado needs a night off, but as a setup guy he can be among the best in baseball.
All the best young relief pitchers and closing pitchers
|Roberto Osuna||93||24||A||Houston Astros||R||25||85||85||99|
|Edwin Diaz||90||25||A||New York Mets||R||25||75||96||99|
|Jose Alvarado||88||23||B||Tampa Bay Rays||L||24||64||99||99|
|Jose Leclerc||87||25||B||Texas Rangers||R||25||35||88||99|
|Diego Castillo||84||25||B||Tampa Bay Rays||R||29||70||99||99|
|Josh Hader||84||24||A||Milwaukee Brewers||L||30||62||82||99|
|Seranthony Dominguez||82||24||B||Philadelphia Phillies||R||26||57||99||99|
|AJ Minter||81||25||B||Atlanta Braves||L||24||70||92||72|
|Keone Kela||80||25||B||Pittsburgh Pirates||R||25||62||90||99|
|Jace Fry||80||25||B||Chicago White Sox||L||23||54||74||99|
|Jordan Hicks||79||22||A||St. Louis Cardinals||R||26||40||99||97|
|Victor Arano||79||24||B||Philadelphia Phillies||R||25||68||78||94|
|Jonathan Holder||78||25||B||New York Yankees||R||26||71||68||84|
|Joe Jimenez||75||24||B||Detroit Tigers||R||24||55||81||90|
|Caleb Ferguson||75||22||B||Los Angeles Dodgers||L||46||76||72||77|
|Tanner Scott||74||24||B||Baltimore Orioles||L||56||47||99||93|
|Michael Feliz||74||25||C||Pittsburgh Pirates||R||27||51||82||79|
|Aaron Bummer||73||25||B||Chicago White Sox||L||52||43||66||58|
|Koda Glover||72||25||B||Washington Nationals||R||28||52||94||53|
|Jose Castillo||72||23||B||San Diego Padres||L||25||49||77||56|
|Robert Gsellman||72||25||B||New York Mets||R||42||62||84||72|
|Adalberto Mejia||70||25||B||Minnesota Twins||L||70||50||67||60|