Some MLB bullpens are just nasty.

The trio of late-inning aces pitching for the Kansas City Royals and the new relief corp that has been put together by the New York Yankees both definitely fit that description. As the dominance of Greg Holland, Kelvin Herrera and Wade Davis for the Royals last season clearly demonstrated, a top-flight bullpen makes all the difference. 

After combing through the 2014 stats and considering the offseason’s most impactful free-agent and trade additions, what follows is a rundown of the 10 most intimidating bullpens entering spring training. In the ranking process, stats such as ERA, saves and inherited score percentage were all considered, but nothing was more important than strikeout rate. 

After all, these rankings are about intimidation, and there’s nothing more intimidating that facing a reliever who racks up punchouts. Plus, the ability to produce swings and misses in high-leverage situations is extremely valuable both for the given reliever and his team. 

As a result, it’s no surprise that the Royals’ and the Yankees’ bullpens dominate the top spots in the rankings.

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