2024 Fantasy Baseball: This Year’s Adbert Alzolay

by Chad Simpson
2024 Fantasy Baseball: This Year's Adbert Alzolay

We go into each Fantasy Baseball season looking for the next reliever to become a valuable closer. The guy who you can get late in drafts or take off the waiver wire and end up leading your team in saves. One player we are looking to find is this year's Adbert Alzolay as we enter the 2024 Fantasy Baseball season.

Adbert Alzolay burst onto the scene for the surprise contender Cubs last year. Coming off a lost season in 2022, Alzolay bounced back in 2023 to the tune of 67 strikeouts in 64 innings, a 2.64 ERA and a 1.01 WHIP with 22 saves. In a bullpen lacking depth Alzolay gave Cubs and Fantasy owners a semblance of hope.

2024 Fantasy Baseball: This Year's Adbert Alzolay

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Prelander Berroa, RP, Chicago White Sox

Berroa, a former Seattle Mariner traded over during the offseason in the Gregory Santos deal is a dynamic pitcher with serious control issues and serious strikeout potential.  In his minor league career, Berroa assembled a 3.58 ERA with 498  strikeouts in 374.2 IP but that came with a concerning 210 walks.

John Brebbia is the closer as of right now but dealing with an injury that could open the door for the more dynamic pitcher to ascend into the role and provide 20-25 saves this year.

Verdict: While I think it is fairly likely Berroa closes for a significant portion of the season, the competition for saves and to a lesser extent, the White Sox being terrible means he is not our Alzolay. There is also a small amount of starter risk.

Garrett Crochet RP, Chicago White Sox

Another dynamic White Sox pitcher with serious strikeout potential but, instead of control issues Crochet comes immense injury risk as he has spent his entire pro career injured.

Currently being stretched out as a Starter as he was in college, Crochet could lead the league in K/9 as either a starter or closer with molten lava flying out of his hands. Ultimately, I presume an injury scare is all it will take for him to move into the closer role instead of starting. If that happens he could be the most dominant bad team closer of all time.

Verdict: I love Crochet but I can't trust him to stay healthy and then if he does stay healthy that means he is stuck as a starter meaning he is not our Alzolay.

Orion Kerkering , RP, Philadelphia Phillies

A favorite in the dynasty community, Kerkering, A fifth-round pick of the Phillies in 2022. They called him up at the end of September last year after a single AAA appearance because of their confidence in his ability to help for the playoff run. He finished 2023 with a combined  85 strikeouts in 56.2 innings.

This year, Kerkering is positioned behind Jose Alvarado, Jeff Hoffman, Gregory Soto, Seranthony Dominguez and Matt Strahm. On the surface that puts him way off the radar but that is a whole lot of average pitching with injury and talent concerns everywhere.

Verdict: This is my pick for the 2024 Adbert Alzolay as I project Kerkering to not only dominate and provide similar value as Alzolay did in the saves category but also position himself to join Edwin Diaz and Josh Hader at the top of the draft boards for closers over the next few years.


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