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.
Strikes out side for save
PLos Angeles Dodgers
July 19, 2019
Jansen earned his 24th save of the season by striking out the side in a perfect ninth inning to close out Friday's 2-1 win over the Marlins.
ANALYSIS
Jansen needed 15 pitches to whiff Harold Ramirez, Jorge Alfaro and pinch hitter Neil Walker for the save. It was his first appearance since he took the loss Tuesday versus the Phillies while trying to pitch through an injured right ankle. Jansen has had his ups and downs with a 3.63 ERA and 0.98 WHIP in 39.2 innings this season, having taken four blown saves.
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Left/Right Pitching Splits
Since 2017
 
 
-13%
BAA vs RHP
2019
 
 
-18%
BAA vs LHP
2018
 
 
-8%
BAA vs LHP
2017
 
 
-49%
BAA vs RHP
BAA Batters K BB H 2B 3B HR
Since 2017vs Left .207 347 105 16 68 12 1 11
Since 2017vs Right .180 362 140 16 61 9 2 13
2019vs Left .188 85 28 5 15 4 0 3
2019vs Right .229 77 26 3 16 3 1 3
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
 
 
-28%
ERA at Home
2019
 
 
-62%
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 2.13 0.78 97.1 6 5 54 12.0 1.5 1.3
Since 2017Away 2.95 1.03 82.1 3 3 49 12.6 1.7 1.1
2019Home 2.22 0.82 24.1 2 1 15 12.2 2.2 0.7
2019Away 5.87 1.24 15.1 1 2 9 12.3 1.2 2.3
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
6.75
 
K/9
12.3
 
BB/9
1.8
 
HR/9
1.4
 
Fastball
91.8 mph
 
ERA
3.63
 
WHIP
0.98
 
BABIP
.302
 
GB/FB
0.87
 
Left On Base
68.6%
 
Exit Velocity
87.3 mph
 
Barrels/BBE
9.2%
 
Spin Rate
2548 rpm
 
Balls Hit 95+ MPH
31.0%
 
Swinging Strike
17.2%
 
Advanced Pitching Stats
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Defensive Stats
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Recent RotoWire Articles Featuring Kenley Jansen
Mound Musings: The Trade Winds Are Gently Blowing
4 days ago
Brad Johnson discusses the latest pitching trades and speculates on possible future moves, including in San Francisco, where Madison Bumgarner’s days could be numbered.
MLB Barometer: Risers & Fallers
7 days ago
Erik Halterman looks at who's up and who's down in baseball this week, including Boston's Rafael Devers, who just keeps getting better.
Mound Musings: The Phones Are Ringing
18 days ago
Brad Johnson looks at the pitching desires of playoff contenders, including the Braves, who, in need of a closer, could be looking at Giants reliever Will Smith.
The Long Game: The Shape of Saves to Come
18 days ago
Erik Siegrist points out relievers who could inherit closer roles after the trade deadline and thinks the Giants' Reyes Moronta has the potential to someday become one of the league's best ninth-inning men.
The Z Files: First Half Fantasy All-Stars
23 days ago
Todd Zola looks at the top first-half players by earnings and profit and finds that few players have provided a better return on investment than Mariners slugger Daniel Vogelbach.
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
Likely available Thursday
PLos Angeles Dodgers
July 18, 2019
Manager Dave Roberts said Jansen's injured right ankle is "significantly better," David Vassegh of AM 570 LA Sports. Jansen is expected to be available out of the Los Angeles bullpen for Thursday's game against the Phillies.
ANALYSIS
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Not available Wednesday
PLos Angeles Dodgers
Ankle
July 17, 2019
Manager Dave Roberts said Jansen (ankle) will not be available Wednesday against the Phillies, Bill Plunkett of The Orange County Register reports.
ANALYSIS
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Suffers bruised ankle in blown save
PLos Angeles Dodgers
Ankle
July 16, 2019
Jansen has a bruised right ankle after being hit by a comebacker in Tuesday's game at Philadelphia, Pedro Moura of The Athletic reports. He was charged with the blown save after giving up four hits and three runs while recording only one out during the ninth inning.
ANALYSIS
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Fans three in non-save situation
PLos Angeles Dodgers
July 14, 2019
Jansen worked 1.2 scoreless innings against the Red Sox on Sunday, walking one batter and striking out three.
ANALYSIS
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Records 23rd save
PLos Angeles Dodgers
June 25, 2019
Jansen posted his 23rd save of the season, striking out one and allowing one hit during the ninth inning of a 3-2 victory against the Diamondbacks on Tuesday.
ANALYSIS
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