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2012 Fantasy Baseball: Is Carlos Marmol Worth Picking Up?

Carlos Marmol and his career K-rate (11.74) will be the third best closer in fantasy baseball in 2012.

Sure, he’s blown 22 saves in his career and had a 4.01 ERA last season, but the ERA was an aberration and Tyler Clippard, Francisco Cordero, Brian Wilson and others have all blown at least 17 saves since 2009.

Since the 2009 season, Marmol has a 3.31 ERA and 1.34 WHIP and has averaged 110 K’s and 29 saves per season (that’s sort of like Craig Kimbrell who appears to be the consensus #1 closer).

After a stellar 2010 campaign, Marmol came back to earth in 2011, disappointing owners with a 4.01 ERA and 1.38 WHIP. You’d think his BABIP and strand rate did a number on him, but both are in line with his career numbers. Oddly, after back-to-back seasons of posting HR/FB rates under three percent, his was 7.5 percent (similar to his 2008 season).

Marmol also seemed to lose a bit of velocity on his fastball. It averaged 91.8 MPH, after being right around 94 MPH the previous three seasons. This led to a few more line-drives and less K’s but also less walks. In fact, his walks have been trending down for the past three seasons.

Even with that diminished velocity, Marmol posted a herculean 12.04 K/9 rate last season. In addition, Marmol will turn 30 in October and hasn’t pitched 1,000 innings between the minors and majors, so he and his fastball shouldn’t be written off just yet. Instead, his HRs will get back to normal and he’ll post a solid ERA (his FIP was 3.54 last year and his xFIP was 3.80).

Rather than running from Marmol, invest and get 90+ Ks, a 3.50 ERA, 1.34 WHIP and 34 saves, i.e. a top closer for a pittance.

Written by Albert Lang exclusively for

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