When the Braves acquired Kenley Jansen, like most Braves fans, I was ecstatic. There hadn’t been a true shutdown closer in Atlanta since Craig Kimbrel was traded, and that was all set to change with Jansen coming to town.
Unfortunately, things didn’t get off to a crisp start. Kenley Jansen had some memorable moments, but the consistency that has made him one of the best closers to ever walk this earth was lacking. That all changed after a brief stint on the IL with an irregular heartbeat, something Jansen has dealt with throughout his entire career.
Since Jansen’s return from the injured list, he’s been lights out, going a perfect nine-for-nine in save opportunities with a 1.84 ERA.
Jansen’s been even better over his last ten appearances too, allowing just one earned run (0.90 ERA) while striking out 14. His Baseball Savant page also suggests he’s been one of the best closers in baseball all season. Luck just hasn’t always been on his side.
- 88th percentile Avg Exit Velocity
- 96th percentile HardHit%
- 99th percentile xERA
- 99th percentile xBA
- 96th percentile xSLG
- 96th percentile K%
- 80th percentile Barrel %
Closers usually don’t get talked about often unless they are either striking everyone out or blowing games. Kenley Jansen is quietly going about his business, and it doesn’t seem like he’s had his best stuff this season. But we will look up in October, and he’ll be leading the league in saves with an ERA well below three and a K/9 above 12. Jansen’s hitting his stride, and it couldn’t have come at a better time.
Photographer: David J. Griffin/Icon Sportswire
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