Texas Rangers: Keone Kela most valuable on the roster and most valuable reliever on the trade market
By Travis Koch
Keone Kela is top-tier in arm talent
Surely, most of you have seen Kela pitch. If you haven’t, you should. He possesses the typical closer fastball, ranging from 95-98 mph. He also possesses the coveted elite secondary pitch that historically promotes closers from good to great. I’m referring to his wipeout curveball.
30 of Kela’s 39 strikeouts have come via the curveball in 2018. He has brilliant command of the pitch as evidenced by his willingness to throw it at any point in the count. He can spin the hook with the best of them and he can spot the hook with the best of them.
It is safe to say he has mastered the fastball/curveball combination. Just as Mariano Rivera had his cutter and Trevor Hoffman his changeup, Kela has his curveball. It is risky to mention Kela in the same sentence as the all-time saves leaders, but his stuff is at least slightly deserving of it.
Certainly, Kela deserves to be recognized as one of the top relievers in the game. In half a season, he’s transitioned from experimental closer to elite closer. He’s been so dominant that teams are beginning to take notice MLB wide.