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Los Angeles Dodgers closer Kenley Jansen is having a phenomenal season with his incredible 50 strikeouts in 31 innings pitched to date, minuscule 0.87 ERA, and issuing a grand total of zero walks.
And it certainly isn’t a fluke as Jansen has built on previous very successful season. If it wasn’t for the re-emergence of Boston Red Sox closer Craig Kimbrel, Jansen would be hands down the best closer in the game this year.
But despite the impressive statistics, there is no love for Jansen in the hobby with his 2009 Bowman Chrome WBC Prospects card sold for as low as $1. Even Kimbrel’s 2011 Bowman Chrome Draft can be bought for a couple of bucks.
I guess it’s not easy to have a long successful career as a closer. The way the game is played today, too many closers get injured and some coaches are fickle when it comes to choosing their ninth-inning pitcher.
Of course, there are always exceptions to the rule (Trevor Hoffman, Mariano Rivera) but they are few and far between.