With a month off of our full 162-game schedule, we have to work that much harder to claw and scrape our way in each category throughout the five months remaining on the schedule. If you work at it as diligently in May as you do in September you can put yourself in a good spot to not sweat the final few weeks.
Throughout draft season you hear it from every angle: You have to prioritize stolen bases early. Easier said than done though right? I’m here to tell you there’s still hope. You either have too much speed or not enough. This series will be focused on the latter.
If there’s a category to make up ground in, it’ll typically be stolen bases. Each week I’ll be providing a couple of options that may be sitting on your wire that have a good shot at getting you at least one more bag. I’m going for the deep cuts and focusing only on players owned in less than 20% of leagues, per Yahoo!, which typically focus on leagues with 12 teams.
This list will change week to week, but you’ll continue to see a general theme. The picks will be focused not just on the speedsters that are generally undrafted, but mostly on sneaky pickups that can take advantage of their matchups, may it be with an offense-first catcher or a starting pitcher with a history of focusing solely on what’s in front of them and ignoring the baserunners. Before we move on to this week’s recommendations, let’s see how last week’s speedsters faired.
Last Week’s Results
Nico Hoerner (CHC) – 0 SB
This article went live last Saturday and Hoerner steals a base late that day and another on Sunday, promptly followed by a IL stint stemming from an on-field collision with Ian Happ, prompting Hoerner to miss the entire week in which he was recommended. And now that Hoerner is 34% rostered across Yahoo! he won’t even be an option for future lists. Seems about right.
Elvis Andrus (OAK) – 0 SB
Going 1-for-14 with just one walk won’t help your chances at stealing anything except extra bench time. This one hurt.
Michael A. Taylor (KC) – 0 SB
At least Taylor tried, though it may not mean much unless stolen base attempts are a category in your league. Taylor was caught stealing for the first time this season on Wednesday, being thrown out at second base by Cleveland’s Austin Hedges.
It didn’t come in Colorado, but Slater put a stolen base on the board this week with a swipe of second base during Friday’s match up with San Diego, taking advantage of a recently returned Austin Nola.
One other thing to consider here is that these matchups are always subject to change, as most things are, and most of these suggestions are best served in a league with daily moves. Weekly adds can still be considered in a pretty deep league, but know that this is only focused on the possibility of stealing bases, even at the expense of other categories. So, after that disclaimer, let’s see who’s poised to run over the next week who may be available in your league:
If at first you don’t succeed, and all that. Michael A. Taylor has shown the ability to run and the Royals continue to push the basepaths. With his rostership still sitting at just 14% across Yahoo! leagues, despite his perfectly usable .265/.320/.347 slash line. Sure, you’d like to see more power from Taylor, but that’s not what you come here for. Rather, hold onto the fact that Taylor sits in the 87th percentile in sprint speed this season and his 4.32 second time from home to first puts him 32nd overall in the league, right next to the likes of Randy Arozarena, Nick Madrigal, and Mike Trout.
Despite the off day Monday, Kansas City is set to play seven games on the road this coming week with three games at Detroit and four against the White Sox, including a double header Friday. Both the Tigers and White Sox are below average stolen base preventers, with the majority of the blame being put on Detroit’s Wilson Ramos who has only thrown out three of the 14 would-be base stealers on the season.
Ok, I’m a little bit surprised to see Miguel Rojas still able to be plugged in to this list as he still sits just 14% rostered across Yahoo! leagues. Perhaps all the attention is rightly been placed on the other Rojas in Arizona, but Miguel is doing some things of his own that deserve your gaze in Miami. First and foremost, he’s hitting lead off for the Marlins – every day. He’s currently on a 4-game multi-hit streak and has walked as often as he’s struck out so far this season. The Marlins have run almost ten percent of the time they’ve have an opportunity to do so and have seen eight different players record at least one stolen base on the season, including Rojas who has attempted four of his own, being successful three times. With a full slate of games set for the Marlins, including four in Arizona and three in Los Angeles, against the battery pairing of Will Smith and Austin Barnes, who have allowed a league leading 36 stolen bases thus far this season, Rojas is a solid pick up this week on multiple fronts.
Sam Haggerty represents the one-dimensional addition that’s going to do just enough not to hurt you in most areas and, with some added playing time, is all but guaranteed to help you tack on an extra stolen base (or two) this week. The Mariners do lose the DH flexibility as they travel to Los Angeles to face the Dodgers to start the week, but if Haggerty starts even one of those games, or most likely comes in to pinch hit or pinch run, he should be able to take full advantage of the Smith/Barnes battery. Already with five stolen bases in his spotty playing time situation with the Mariners, Haggerty should be able to put his 98th percentile sprint speed to good use this week, if given the opportunity.
Photo by John Cordes/Icon Sportswire | Adapted by Michael Packard (@designsbypack on Twitter & IG)