With almost two months 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 four plus 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
Jurickson Profar (SD) – 1 SB
Profar did return and has played in every game for the Padres this week (so far), collecting a stolen base on Wednesday. Going 6 for 15 with five runs and two RBI doesn’t hurt either.
Billy Hamilton (CWS) – 0 SB
Hamilton hasn’t found as much playing time as i might have thought he could, but he’s still found his way into every game this week off the bench. Unfortunately the spot playing time did not pair with any stolen bases so far.
Yonathan Daza (COL) – 0 SB
The playing time roller coaster looks to be on the downturn for Daza and he’s played in just two of the four Rockies’ games so far this week. After stealing a base on Sunday, Daza has only reached base once this week, making it pretty difficult to add to his stolen base total.
Nick Maton (PHI), Daulton Varsho (ARI) – 0 SB combined
Maton also stole a base Sunday, but has yet to move the needle this week while Varsho continues to see spotty playing time at best in Arizona.
One other thing to consider here is that these matchups are always subject to change, as most things are, 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:
Jurickson Profar, San Diego Padres
As Jurickson Profar is still rostered in just 16% of Yahoo! leagues, he makes an obvious inclusion for the second straight week. With the Padres’ easily being the league’s most aggressive team on the base paths combined with Profar’s success rate – he’s a perfect 6 for 6 this season and has only been caught four times since 2016 – this may be the last shot you have to stream Profar for a while. Having a full seven game slate on the week doesn’t hurt, though both Milwaukee and Houston have done a decent job throwing out would be base stealers, each with a success rate over 33% on the season thus far. Regardless of the throw out rate, teams are still not afraid to run on the Brewers as they rank 5th in baseball with 32 attempts against so far this season.
Brian Anderson, Miami Marlins
Brian Anderson represents the type of streamer that has a decent chance to nab an extra stolen base without hurting you in other categories. The multi-position eligibility of 3B and OF doesn’t hurt either. The Marlins continue with their running ways, sending runners at the 4th largest rate in the league, and Anderson has been part of that statistic having collected three stolen bases on the year thus far, all coming this month. With J.T. Realmuto is on the shelf, the Phillies will be relying on Andrew Knapp behind the plate and so far he has not faired well throwing out runners, allowing eight stolen bases on eight attempts this season. Combine that with the Marlin’s match up against Boston’s Christian Vazquez, who has allowed 14 stolen bases of his own this year, and Anderson may see a green light or two during his upcoming seven game week.
Brock Holt (TEX) vs Kurt Suzuki (C, LAA) and Luis Torrens (C, SEA)
Corey Dickerson (MIA) vs Andrew Knapp (C, PHI) and Christian Vazquez (C, BOS)
Michael A. Taylor (KC) vs Jacob Stallings (C, PIT)
Photo by John Cordes/Icon Sportswire | Adapted by Michael Packard (@designsbypack on Twitter & IG)