Even a 9th-inning lead isn’t safe without the right talent on the mound.
Closing pitchers carry all the pressure of baseball’s most intense moments, and are key for winning close games. Still, the position gets little respect for how important it is.
But you don’t have to make the same mistake with your franchise.
Roberto Osuna – 91 OVR
Roberto Osuna has it all, making him the best closer available in MLB The Show 20. And he’s only 25.
Osuna is entering his 2nd year with the Hoston Astros, where he employs a diverse set of pitches to retire batters.
Osuna brings to the table a 97 MPH 4-seam fastball, a deadly changeup, cutter, and a more rare pitch, the slurve.
Osuna’s best talents are his 99 Break, 91 Velocity, and 90 H/R. But don’t let these distract you from the rest of his skills, which are all impressive down the line.
Osuna may not be as elite in any one area as some specialized closers in the game today, but his total package skillset sets him a cut above the competition, and his youth means he’ll be even better over time.
Osuna’s ability to adjust to any situation makes him the best closing pitcher for MLB The Show 20’s franchise mode. Being a player that will grow to legendary status over the next decade, he’s the best pick for managers thinking of the now and for managers thinking of the future.
Kirby Yates – 90 OVR
Kirby Yates is a perfect example of a veteran closer that relies more on his break and control than on his power. While Yates still throws a 93 MPH fastball for the San Diego Padres, his real strengths are his challenging splitter and slider.
Yates’ best talents are his 99 Break, 99 K/9, and 93 H/9. He more than makes up for the small power difference by being able to pitch around any batter in the league.
Yates is coming off a winless 2019, even though he totaled 41 saves. Expect to see him hungry entering next season, in and out of franchise mode.
Liam Hendriks – 90 OVR
Liam Hendriks is entering his 5th year with the Oakland Athletics, and is coming off his career best ERA. Hendricks is heavy on the heat with a 96 MPH 4-seam fastball, and brings a good amount of skills to the table. While he seems overated by his overall, he’s still a talented closer no organization can scoff at.
Hendriks’ best talents are his 98 K/9, 97 Break, and 85 H/9.
Hendriks doesn’t quite stand out enough in any one area, but his overall consistency and strong basics means he’s among the best closing pitchers available in MLB The Show 20.
Kenley Jansen – 89 OVR
Kenley Jansen has spent more than a decade closing for the LA Dodgers, and that long reign continues into next season.
Jansen is a flexible closer that can burn past batters just as well as he can get them chasing breaking balls. This is represented in his pitch list, featuring a 91 MPH cutter, 93 MPH 4-seam fastball, and a 82 MPH slider.
Jansen’s best talents are his 93 Break, 89 K/9, and 89 Clutch.
Over the years Jansen’s ERA has slipped, but don’t let that distract you from what he can bring to any franchise that picks him up. He’s a jack of all trades that can bring you home close games with a diverse skillset.
Ken Giles – 89 OVR
Ken Giles is entering his 2nd year with the Toronto Blue Jays, following up one of his best ERA years of his career.
With two very dangerous 97 mph fastball options, Giles presents a serious threat to batters by just powering past them. And when his remarkable power isn’t enough, his mastery of velocity backs him up.
Giles’ best talents are his 99 Break, 97 Velocity, and 97 K/9. He’s a reliable player that is ahead of the pack in most areas, and elite in a few as well. And to have his stat package at just 29 years old means Giles can be a serious weapon for any franchise for a few years.
Aroldis Chapman – 88 OVR
Despite his overall, Aroldis Chapman might be the most talented closing pitcher in baseball today. Chapman is very strong across the most important facets of closing pitching, like velocity and break. He’s one of the older players on the list, but he’s still a great weapon for any franchise.
Chapman’s biggest strengths are his 99 Break, 99 Velocity, 99 K/9, and 99 H/9. He’s a phenomenal talent and brings to the table everything you could want in a closer, minus control of course.
Because of Chapman’s only weakness, his control, he walks batters more often than other closers. But when Champan does find the strike zone, there’s only a handful of bats in the league ready for him.
Brad Hand – 87 OVR
Brad Hand is entering his 2nd year as a Cleveland Indian, but he’s coming off a very subpar 2019. Still, Hand represents a veteran presence in the closing pitcher field with great break to help offset his fastball-heavy arsenal.
Hand may not have the fastest pitches, but his break means he can reliably keep batters on the backfoot. His best talents are this 96 Break, his 95 K/9, and 83 Clutch.
While there are more impressive young talents and better seasoned veterans available, Brad Hand is a pitcher you can rely on closing the game.
Taylor Rogers – 87 OVR
Taylor Rogers is entering his 5th year with the Minnesota Twins, and he’s still throwing just as much power as when he started.
With a 95 MPH sinker, Rogers is a very difficult pitcher to hit against comfortably. He also excels with his slider and curveball, rounding out a short but sweet list of dangerous pitches. Rogers’ best talents are his 99 Velocity, 97 Control, and 87 Break.
Will Smith – 86 OVR
No, not that Will Smith.
The Atlanta Braves’ closer Will Smith has just arrived to the organization, but he comes with plenty of experience behind him.
This will be Smith’s 8th year in the MLB, and he has a pretty strong resume to show for it.
In MLB The Show 20, Smith’s best weapons are his 99 Break which he uses to trick batters into bad swings, and 99 K/9 as an absolute strikeout ace. Smith has passable heat in his 93 mph 4-seam fastball, but his real threat is the break on his slider and curveball.
Josh Hader – 85 OVR
While Josh Hader rounds out this list of the best closers in MLB The Show 20, he still remains one of the brightest prospects at closing pitcher.
Hader is just 25 years old, already among the best closers in the league, and he also has A potential to carry him to even further heights. Any franchise investing in their long term future should give Hader a serious look.
Hader’s skillset is built around some very important basics that will carry him to a great career wherever he lands. Hader has 99 Clutch, 99 H/9, 99 K/9, and 99 Break. Much like other closers, Hader’s stamina is severely limited, but his strengths make for the perfect young closer.