Let’s say you’re looking for the player with the best stolen base per plate appearances ratio. You might think of recent SAGNOF heart-throb Rajai Davis, who basically has a steal for every 8 plate appearances. Davis has recently soared to 80% ownership thanks to his outburst of 7 steals in 4 days and an absolute monster day at the dish yesterday. You’d be close, but the answer is actually Jarrod Dyson at 1:7, and who is owned in 79% less leagues. But Mike, isn’t Jarrod Dyson just a platoon player, part of a four-man outfield in Kansas City? Of course he is, but so was Davis before Melky Cabrera went down, and unfortunately that’s where I’d suspect Davis will be headed once again when the Blue Jays’ $8 million dollar man returns from the DL in the next week or so.

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It may have been hard to catch Grey’s BUY post last Friday, because it was littered with SAGNOF outfielders. We’ll take a look at some of those guys today, with a special focus on Rajai Davis of the Blue Jays, who recently found himself some steady playing time in left field while Melky Cabrera is on the DL. As you’re reading this, I’m on the road to the Jersey Shore with my family for the Fourth of July, so I apologize in advance if I’m not as quick as usual with the comments. Speaking of Grey and Jersey, the main man talked about how New Jersey, my home state, looks like the profile of Kid from Kid ‘n’ Play. I have to say I was impressed. I like that image better than the American Indian profile they taught us in school. It’s probably more politically correct, too. Hats off to you, Grey! If only you had been my third grade teacher…

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After stealing only 3 bases in all of 2012, Peter Bourjos met that mark in the past ten games. It seems as though his hamstring is just fine,and despite hitting in the bottom of the lineup for the Angels, he is producing runs. More importantly for the purpose of this column, he appears to have the green light and hasn’t been caught stealing yet, either. If you’d like, we can pretend that last year never happened and just look at his 22 steals in 147 games back in 2011 to get an idea of what he might be able to pull off the rest of this season. Last week, I pointed to the fact that I’d rather roster a leadoff hitter when looking for steals, at which point Cholly Manuel promptly shoved Ben Revere into the seventh spot in the Phillies’ lineup and he stole 3, count’em 3 bags. Thanks for proving my point, Cholly! So lineup position be damned, feel free to ride Bourjos to SAGNOF glory. He’ll draw the Tigers and Astros this week. While you’re here, check out some of this week’s other available speedsters.

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Well, I’d like to start off this post by saying I’m sorry to the folks in Razzball nation who picked up Cameron Maybin last week in their weekly leagues. He’ll be out for quite a while with a PCL tear to his knee. In the words of the Guru on Twitter, “This time wasn’t different, Mike…oops”. Maybin promised me the 8 o’clock rez at Dorsia, but then he slipped me an extra lithium and I ended up at Barcadia. Worst of all, in my weekly league, it was too late to swap him when the injury news came out. Next thing I knew it was lunch at Texarkana. Sheesh. Onward and upward, they say, and this week we have some new faces in the mix, including Gregor Blanco, who seems to have found a hot bat since stepping in for the injured Angel Pagan. Check him out and some of the other base stealing threats this week, but you’ll have to excuse me, I have a lunch meeting in 20 minutes with Cliff Huxtable at the Four Seasons.

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It’s always nice when you come off of the DL to find yourself in a series at Coors, but Cameron Maybin really came out of the chute with a bang. With 4 steals in 3 games through Saturday, he jumped right back on the radar as a rosterable outfielder in mixed leagues with his performance. Of course, here at Razzball he was already on your radar from Grey’s BUY on Friday and my post from two weeks ago in which I said “15-20 SB ROS isn’t out of the realm of possibility, and I’m stashing him with cautious optimism”…and that’s me quot- well, you know the rest. Over the past three seasons (2011-2013), Maybin is 13th on the MLB leaderboard in stolen bases with 69. He has been caught only 16 times and his 7.6 Spd rating, a metric developed by Bill James to measure a player’s base running, is 7th overall in that span. Even in a pretty disappointing 2012 campaign, he managed 26 steals. The next few weeks will be a test for both Maybin’s hitting as well as his base running. Three of the Padres’ next four opponents (D’Backs, Dodgers, and Braves) are in the top ten in MLB for fewest steals allowed. I’ve always liked Maybin, and wrote about him as a potential bounce-back for 2013 in my very first article for Razzball. For right now, though, my recommendation would be to pick him up if you are in need of an outfielder, without expecting much help outside of the SB category. His speed is comparable to fellow SAGNOFs Ben Revere or Juan Pierre but he’s got the most upside of the bunch.

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When Josh Rutledge was optioned to Triple A, I got burned. Whether he can figure it out and make his way back up to the majors remains to be seen, but what made things worse was that the guy replacing him had one of those names I had never heard of nor knew how to pronounce. DJ LeMahieu sounds like he should be a forward for the Canucks, but he is now the Rockies’ starting second basemen. Despite an underwhelming .267 average and only 3 runs scored, he’s got a pair of steals in the last seven days and has found his way onto my radar. LeMahieu never hit below .300 in the minors and had stolen 8 bags in 33 games prior to his call-up this year. I don’t think he’s an add in 12 team mixed leagues or shallower, but in deep leagues and obviously NL-only leagues he has value. He’s got a tough match-up against Cincy to start the week, but then he gets to face the Padres for a four-game set. It will be interesting to see if he can net a steal or two against San Diego, one of the top ten teams in stolen bases allowed.

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How quickly things change. Last week, it was looking like Adam Eaton was close to returning from an elbow injury and A.J. Pollock would be the odd man out in the Arizona outfield. Well, one setback later, Pollock looks good to go as a part of the four-man Arizona outfield and he’s worth watching in deeper formats. He’ll get starts against lefties and maybe more, so he’s a guy that you’ll have to play the matchups with unless he really catches fire. Meanwhile, Adam Eaton is probably not going to do much in the way of baseball for about three weeks and probably won’t be fantasy relevant until the end of June at the earliest. He was so close to returning too. Kind of like crashing your car with one payment left. We’ll take a look at matchups for all the members of the stolen base leaderboard for Week 9. As always, all players listed are owned in less than 50% of ESPN leagues and Sunday’s stats are not included.

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I went ahead and picked up Jarrod Dyson this past week only to watch him sprain his ankle before even entering my lineup. ESPN has him listed as 0.0% ownership, so apparently my team doesn’t even count in their world. I was about to get all depressed about it and throw on my Skinny Puppy t-shirt and black eyeliner when I realized that this is a SAGNOF world, and that means when one speedster goes down, we just go to the heap for another. We’re about 1/4 of the way through the season already, and that means it’s time to take a look at some stats for pitchers, catchers, and teams to try to exploit when chasing steals. I’ll also take a look at what Will Venable is up to and how Pedro Florimon may be a possible source of cheap speed in very deep leagues. At the beginning of the season, I posted the 2012 numbers for pitchers and catchers who should be exploited or avoided when it comes to steals, as well as team SB allowed for matchup purposes. Here are those same stats through the first 40 games of the 2013 season.

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This is not a drill. Eric Young Jr. should actually see steady starts in right field with Michael Cuddyer hitting the disabled list. After Helton went down we were teased by the occasional EY2 start. I may or may not have seen Grey with a Cuddyer voodoo doll in his hand and next thing I know, EY2 is the Rockies leadoff hitter and starting right fielder. He and a few others who are on page one of the steals’ leaderboards may still be available in your league. Juan Pierre, Michael Saunders, and Kelly Johnson all graduated from this list with over 50% ownership now. Hopefully they are able to contribute to their new fantasy owners instead of doing what I did when I graduated, which was sitting in my parents’ basement eating pizza rolls and hoping that today would be “PLINKO” day on The Price Is Right.

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I’ve read a few pieces recently about how stolen bases are down across MLB. As long as steals are a category they will have value, and if steals are indeed down compared to previous years, then they just become that much more valuable. The guy who is currently second in all of baseball in steals, Juan Pierre, is still owned in less than half of the leagues out there. This is kind of confusing to me. If we hit the wire to grab a guy who is in line for saves, or we’ll stream a pitcher hoping for a win, shouldn’t we grab Juan Pierre?

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