Kenley Jansen
Kenley Jansen
31-Year-Old PitcherRP
Los Angeles Dodgers
2019 Fantasy Outlook
Jansen entered 2018 as the undisputed top closer, but immediately tested that distinction. With his cutter down a few ticks coming out of the spring, Jansen blew two saves in his first seven outings. He regained some heat thereafter and converted 37 of his next 39 chances, but didn't quite resemble the relief ace of old. Most notably, Jansen's strikeout and walk rates moved steeply in the wrong directions, with his 22.5 K-BB% amounting to a 13-point decline from any of the previous three years. That contributed to Jansen finishing with an ERA above 3.00 for the first time ever, a mark that likely would have been worse if not for a .234 BABIP (career .268). The heart issue that cost Jansen time in 2011 and 2012 also popped up last August, though he's hopeful an offseason procedure remedied the matter. Still, Jansen's place among the top-tier closers no longer seems certain, despite the 2018 model being a fringe top-five option. Read Past Outlooks
RANKSFrom Preseason
#75
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$Signed a five-year, $80 million contract with Dodgers in December of 2016.
Another vote of confidence
PLos Angeles Dodgers
August 22, 2019
Manager Dave Roberts gave Jansen a vote of confidence after Jansen blew another save Wednesday night, Ken Gurnick of MLB.com reports. "Right now, Kenley's our closer," Roberts said.
ANALYSIS
Jansen gave up a solo homer to Rowdy Tellez to squander a ninth-inning lead against Toronto, his second blown save in five appearances and sixth this season. He had five blown saves combined in 2017 and 2018. Clearly, the 31-year-old isn't the elite closer he used to be, with his trademark cutter suddenly becoming a whole lot more hittable over the last calendar year or so. The Dodgers have alternatives should Jansen continue to struggle, including Joe Kelly, Pedro Baez, Julio Urias (suspension) and Kenta Maeda, who moved to the bullpen and served as the closer late last season when Jansen was unavailable for a stretch.
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Left/Right Pitching Splits
Since 2017
 
 
-11%
BAA vs RHP
2019
 
 
-20%
BAA vs LHP
2018
 
 
-8%
BAA vs LHP
2017
 
 
-49%
BAA vs RHP
BAA Batters K BB H 2B 3B HR
Since 2017vs Left .208 368 108 18 72 13 1 12
Since 2017vs Right .185 380 147 17 66 10 2 14
2019vs Left .194 106 31 7 19 5 0 4
2019vs Right .241 95 33 4 21 4 1 4
2018vs Left .192 133 32 7 24 3 1 4
2018vs Right .208 156 50 10 30 5 0 9
2017vs Left .236 129 45 4 29 5 0 4
2017vs Right .120 129 64 3 15 1 1 1
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Home/Away Pitching Splits
Since 2017
 
 
-22%
ERA at Home
2019
 
 
-46%
ERA at Home
2018
 
 
-38%
ERA at Home
2017
 
 
-56%
ERA on Road
ERA WHIP IP W L SV K/9 BB/9 HR/9
Since 2017Home 2.29 0.82 102.1 6 5 55 12.0 1.5 1.4
Since 2017Away 2.92 1.03 86.1 3 3 50 12.4 1.9 1.0
2019Home 2.76 0.95 29.1 2 1 16 12.0 2.1 1.2
2019Away 5.12 1.19 19.1 1 2 10 11.6 1.9 1.9
2018Home 2.35 0.83 38.1 1 4 19 10.3 0.9 1.9
2018Away 3.78 1.17 33.1 0 1 19 10.3 3.5 1.4
2017Home 1.82 0.69 34.2 3 0 20 13.8 1.6 1.0
2017Away 0.80 0.80 33.2 2 0 21 15.0 0.3 0.3
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Stat Review
How does Kenley Jansen compare to other relievers?
This section compares his stats with all relief pitcher seasons from the previous three seasons (minimum 30 innings)*. The bar represents the player's percentile rank. For example, if the bar is halfway across, then the player falls into the 50th percentile for that stat and it would be considered average.

* Exit Velocity, Barrels/BBE %, Balls Hit 95+ MPH %, and Spin Rate are benchmarked against this season's data (min 20 IP). See here for more exit velocity/barrels stats plus an explanation of current limitations with that data set.
  • K/BB
    Strikeout to walk ratio.
  • K/9
    Average strikeouts per nine innings.
  • BB/9
    Average walks per nine innings.
  • HR/9
    Average home runs allowed per nine innings.
  • Fastball
    Average fastball velocity.
  • ERA
    Earned run average. The average earned runs allowed per nine innings.
  • WHIP
    Walks plus hits per inning pitched.
  • BABIP
    Batting average on balls in play. Measures how many balls in play against a pitcher go for hits.
  • GB/FB
    Groundball to flyball ratio. The higher the number, the more likely a pitcher is to induce groundballs.
  • Left On Base
    The percentage of base runners that a pitcher strands on base over the course of a season.
  • Exit Velocity
    The speed of the baseball as it comes off the bat, immediately after a batter makes contact.
  • Barrels/BBE
    The percentage of batted ball events resulting in a Barrel. A Barrel is a batted ball with similar exit velocity and launch angle to past ones that led to a minimum .500 batting average and 1.500 slugging percentage.
  • Spin Rate
    Spin Rate is the rate of spin on a baseball after it is released. It is measured in revolutions per minute (rpm).
  • Balls Hit 95+ MPH
    The percentage of batted balls hit that met or exceeded the 95 MPH threshold.
  • Swinging Strike
    The percentage of pitches that result in a swing and a miss.
K/BB
5.82
 
K/9
11.8
 
BB/9
2.0
 
HR/9
1.5
 
Fastball
91.9 mph
 
ERA
3.70
 
WHIP
1.05
 
BABIP
.304
 
GB/FB
0.87
 
Left On Base
72.9%
 
Exit Velocity
86.7 mph
 
Barrels/BBE
8.3%
 
Spin Rate
2529 rpm
 
Balls Hit 95+ MPH
28.4%
 
Swinging Strike
16.6%
 
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Recent RotoWire Articles Featuring Kenley Jansen
Mound Musings: See You in September?
Yesterday
Brad Johnson runs down a list of arms who could help in the fantasy season’s final month or who might be deserving of your attention next spring, starting with Giants pitcher Johnny Cueto.
Regan's Rumblings: Keeper Value Trending Up
3 days ago
Dave Regan discusses which MLB veterans have increased their keeper value the most this year, including Arizona’s Ketel Marte, who’s hitting a .320/.381/.568 with 25 home runs and eight steals.
NL FAAB Factor: Waiver Pickups of the Week
5 days ago
Jan Levine continues to guide us along the latest path of free-agent possibilities, including some up-and-coming pitchers and a couple serviceable infielders.
Mound Musings: Checking in on the Bullpens – American League
8 days ago
Brad Johnson examines bullpen assignments in the AL to see how they stack up for a postseason push, including in Detroit, where the jury is still out regarding Joe Jimenez’ potential for long-term success.
NL FAAB Factor: Waiver Pickups of the Week
12 days ago
Jan Levine and Paul Martinez join forces to provide the latest and greatest pickup candidates, including a Braves' starter possibly returning to his earlier strong form.
Past Fantasy Outlooks
2018
2017
2016
2015
2014
2013
2012
2011
Jansen is one of the best closers of this generation, if not the best. The 2017 season didn't end as he'd hoped -- Jansen allowed runs in three consecutive appearances and blew a save in the World Series -- but the right-hander was absolutely dominant throughout most of the year. He posted a 1.31 FIP (best among all pitchers with at least 50 innings) and 39.5 K-BB percentage while going 41-for-42 in save chances during the regular season. The walk rate was the lowest of his career and his swinging-strike rate was his highest mark ever, so while it seems impossible for him to get any better, the skills are elite and there aren't even any yellow flags entering his age-30 season. The team context solidifies Jansen as the top closer option on the board.
In his walk year, Jansen posted career bests in saves (47), ERA (1.83) and WHIP (0.67). Batters were simply unable to properly square up the 29-year-old's cutter, which was regularly hitting the mid-90s by season's end. That isn't a new development, as Jansen's career low strikeout rate in the majors is 37.6 percent from his rookie year in 2010. His K-BB% (37.1 percent) and FIP (1.44) both ranked second among qualified relievers last season, solidifying his place in the very highest tier of MLB bullpen arms. The new development is he showed an ability to last multiple innings in a game during the playoffs, a la Andrew Miller, throwing 20.1 innings across seven postseason games. Jansen remained where he was comfortable, signing a five-year $80 million deal with the Dodgers this offseason, making his outlook pretty straight forward. He will remain one of the top closers on the board as long as his skills remain constant.
A foot injury resulted in Jansen's 2015 debut being delayed until mid-May, but once he returned, the right-hander once again provided a stabilizing influence in what was a less-than-stable Dodgers bullpen. Jansen converted 36-of-38 save opportunities, a total that projects to 48 saves had he played the full six months. His 13.8 K/9 represented his fourth consecutive 13.0-plus mark in that category, while his 1.4 BB/9 was less than half his 2.9 career mark. The Dodgers may add new pieces to the bridge in front of him before Opening Day, but there is little to suggest that the organization sees him as anything other than a lock to be their closer in 2016. At age 28, he's firmly in his prime and should be drafted as one of the first closers off the board.
Jansen allowed 45 percent of his season’s runs in three outings. The trio of three-run outings was contained in just two innings of work and that was essentially the difference in his ERA from 2013 to 2014. Otherwise, he was still absolutely amazing with a career-high 44 saves, a 37.7% strikeout rate, and 5.3 K/BB ratio. Absent those three crazy outings and his out-of-whack .350 BABIP, he might have bested his 1.99 ERA from 2013. While his strikeout rate is technically dropping if you push out a decimal, from 39.3% to 37.7%, his swinging-strike rate is actually on the rise from 14.2% to 16.6%, meaning the strikeout rate could jump back up toward his obscene 44.0% mark from 2011. His stikeout and save totals will almost certainly fall this season, with Jansen expected to miss 8-to-12 weeks after undergoing surgery on his left foot in mid-February, but he should have no trouble regaining the closer role once healthy.
Well who knew Jansen would be a better closer than Brandon League last year? Okay, put your collective hands down. Jansen was spectacular, posting a 1.88 ERA, 0.86 WHIP, and an eye-popping 111:18 K:BB in 76.2 innings. Jansen has cut his BB/9 rate from 4.4 to 3.1 to 2.1 over the last three years while maintaining a 13.0 K/9 rate. He should be a top-five closer again in 2014 and should not have a problem topping the 2013 save total (28) with a full season handling the Dodgers' ninth-inning role.
Jansen's strikeout rate wasn't quite on 2011's historic level, but a 13.7 K/9 is still quite impressive. Jansen recorded 25 saves, 99 strikeouts, and checked in with a 2.35 ERA and impressive 0.85 WHIP. He had offseason surgery to correct a heart ailment and should be able to get through a full season in 2013 without a recurrence. Over the offseason, the Dodgers gave Brandon League a $22.5 million contract to be their closer, which sinks Jansen's fantasy value assuming that League pitches well enough to keep the job. Monitor this situation between now and Opening Day and slot Jansen accordingly.
Despite a minor heart ailment, Jansen had a breakout 2011, setting a single-season big league record with a 16.10 K/9IP (96 strikeouts in 53.2 innings) for pitchers with a minimum of 50 innings pitched. The converted catcher functioned primarily as a setup man for Javy Guerra last year, but it's likely he'll have the opportunity to compete for the closer slot come spring training. Jansen has the talent to be a top-five closer given the opportunity.
It was an eye-popping debut for the converted catcher in 2010, as Jansen rode a grand total of 56 professional innings to a key role in the Dodger bullpen. Routinely hitting the mid-90s and above, Jansen struck out 41 batters in 27 innings while posting a 0.67 ERA. Sure, the 15 walks were a few more than you'd like to see, but Jansen is still raw and improved command could easily come in time. He's set to pitch near the back end of the LA bullpen in 2011 and could find himself in the closer discussion depending on how things shake out with Jonathan Broxton's command and Hong-Chih Kuo's health.
More Fantasy News
Blows save Wednesday
PLos Angeles Dodgers
August 21, 2019
Jansen blew the save against the Blue Jays on Wednesday, giving up one earned run on one hit in one inning as the Dodgers eventually came back to win 2-1 in 10 innings. He struck out one and walked none.
ANALYSIS
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Set for reduced workload
PLos Angeles Dodgers
August 12, 2019
Jansen will be given more scheduled days off in an effort to prepare him for the playoffs, Mike DiGiovanna of the Los Angeles Times reports.
ANALYSIS
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Unavailable Sunday
PLos Angeles Dodgers
August 11, 2019
Jansen will be unavailable Sunday against the Diamondbacks due to recent usage, Ken Gurnick of MLB.com reports.
ANALYSIS
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Receives vote of confidence
PLos Angeles Dodgers
August 11, 2019
Jansen is working on his mechanics but will continue to earn save opportunities, Ken Gurnick of MLB.com reports.
ANALYSIS
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Blows fifth save
PLos Angeles Dodgers
August 9, 2019
Jansen was charged with a blown save after surrendering two runs on three hits while striking out two in an inning of relief against the Diamondbacks on Friday.
ANALYSIS
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