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It’s that time of year. With just a couple of weeks until rosters expand in September, it’s time for players in re-draft leagues to start considering prospect call-ups. Billy Hamilton is by far the best bet for a steals impact in the final month of the season. Entering the weekend, he had 70 stolen bases in just 110 games. Check out what Razzball’s prospect whisperer Scott Evans had to say about him recently: “Need to make a late push in steals before year’s end?  Billy Hamilton will soon help in that regard, and he won’t need regular plate appearances to do so.” And Evans knows his shizz. Billy Hamilton is fast. He could enter games as a pinch runner on first base and be on third base before you swallow that sip of stadium suds. In addition to holding the MiLB steals record and posting sick times from base to base, Hamilton chugs through Mountain Dews like Dusty Baker chews through toothpicks. He’s one of the players I’m most excited about watching if he gets the call this September. The fly in the ointment continues to be the Reds’ reluctance to place him on the 40-man roster. As of Friday they were still undecided, and that’s important information to keep an eye on.  To be honest, the Reds would be foolish not to use him as a weapon, but I’m not running any major league teams last time I checked. As we’ve done all year long, let’s look at who is out there and ready to contribute now in the steals category:

Jarrod Dyson – Last Week: 3 steals / This Week: CWS, WAS

He’s seen a spike in playing time with Lorenzo Cain on the DL and he’s one of the better base stealers in the league when he can get on base. He’ll draw two good match-ups this week against the White Sox and Nationals. The way the Royals are playing right now he’s one of the better SAGNOF options on the wire. I talked about him more in depth a few weeks back. On Friday, Grey told you to BUY and yesterday Guru told you to JAM. This is a team effort folks!

Emilio Bonifacio – Last Week: 4 steals / This Week: CWS, WAS

Bonifacio has started every game since joining the Royals and he already has 4 steals in his new digs. If Yost is going to find ways to get him in the lineup everyday then he is definitely someone I’d be looking to add. He’s got added value in that he is eligible at both second base and outfield. This is a player who is only a couple of years removed from a season in which he stole 40 bases. Like Dyson, he’s got the nice match-up with the Nationals. Side note: If you’re in a deep league, Chris Getz is another option the Royals have to offer.

Jonathan Villar – Last Week: 1 steal / This Week: @TEX, TOR

Villar is still underowned at just 20% in ESPN leagues. He’s shown he wants to run and he’s already notched 11 steals in just 21 games. I’m not a mathematician, but if I needed steals I’d want a guy that can grab me one about every two games or so, and that’s Villar.

Kolten Wong – Last Week: 0 steals / This Week: @MIL, ATL

Wong stole 20 bags in the minors while hitting a cool .303. Even more impressive was that he was only caught once. I like Wong for the rest of the season and he could chip in some steals for sure. He’s got a chance to grab a couple early against the Brewers this week.

Gregor Blanco – Last Week: 1 steal / This Week: BOS, PIT

While Brandon Belt  is the hitter you probably want from the Giants right now, Blanco might be interesting this week for steals help in deeper formats. He has 11 on the season and he’s got a tasty match-up against the Red Sox to start things off.

Eric Young – Last Week: 3 steals / This Week: @MIN, ATL, DET

Young’s bat has gone colder than a witch’s teat, but he did manage three steals against the Padres this weekend, so we know his legs still work. The Tigers are right up there with the Angels and Red Sox for steals allowed, and he’ll face them later this week at home. Deep leaguers should give Juan Lagares a look-see for the same reason.

Junior Lake – Last Week: 0 steals / This Week: WAS, @SD

Lake hasn’t exactly shown a lot of wheels with just 1 steal on the season, but he’s got 7 games with two nice match-ups against the Padres and Nationals this week if you’re desperate. Gotta do my due diligence y’all! Given how weak the Nats and Cubs are against the run, you should feel confident in deploying any Cubbies with speed against them.

The Angels and Red Sox are easily the best teams to run on, with the Tigers not too far behind.

The Angels draw the Indians and Mariners, so guys like Drew Stubbs, Brad Miller, and Michael Saunders become threats to steal a base or two.The Red Sox will face the Giants and Dodgers so even Dodgers’ second baseman Mark Ellis might steal a base this week! In addition to the Mets, who I’ve already covered, the Tigers will face the Twins. Unfortunately, there aren’t a ton of options there except maybe Brian Dozier, who’s as hot as a biscuit and has 9 steals on the year.

Teams highlighted in green are in the top ten for most stolen bases allowed.

Teams highlighted in red are in the top ten for least stolen bases allowed.

If you’re a Tweeter on Twitter, you can follow me @643ball 

  1. Steve Stevenson says:
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    Dyson or Bonifacio? I have a hole in the OF for SAGNOF while Gomez is out, but Boni can also play for a slumping Altuve (not the same since his injury) after that.

    • Mike

      Mike says:
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      @Steve Stevenson: Thanks, Steve. I’d go with Boni if the position flexibility will help you like that.

  2. Abdoozy says:
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    Problem with Villar is, in 7 games since his injury he’s just 1 for 2 in steal attempts, despite maintaining a .345 OBP. He’s just not running for whatever reason.

    • Mike

      Mike says:
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      @Abdoozy: Good point. Hopefully he can make the adjustments and get it going again.

  3. The Thumb says:
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    I’m sorry if someone has asked this earlier this year, but what is with Brett Gardner and Justin Upton? Dudes can’t steal candy from a baby anymore, at least not at their old rate.

    Anyway, I’ve got six players for five spots tomorrow and I could really use some steals.

    Those guys are: JUp, Byrd, Bruce, Rajai (Double header), Middlebrooks, Brett (Double header).

    Middlebrooks seems like the odd man out but he’s swinging a hot stick.

    • Mike

      Mike says:
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      @The Thumb: I’d lose Byrd of those guys. It’s a question I get a lot and it’s hard to pinpoint one answer. Could be injury, dead legs, bad matchups, pitcher adjustments, manager red lights, etc. Writing these articles has given me a new appreciation of how hard it really is to steal bases at a consistent level. I know it’s a cop out answer but truth is it’s hard to say why guys go through these droughts. I can say that as players start to age, speed is the first of the tools that seems to fade. Not that either of those guys you mentioned are ancient by any means…

  4. The Thumb says:
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    Wong with two swipes tonight! Almost makes the .154 average worth it

    • Mike

      Mike says:
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      @The Thumb: good stuff! Cards could use a spark like him on the base paths. thanks for reading, Thumb!

    • goodfold2 says:
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      @The Thumb: hey, be happy, weren’t those the first 2 hits as well?

      • Mike

        Mike says:
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        @goodfold2: ha, yeah. Cards beat writer commented they might just give him second base as a rookie souvenir.

  5. The Thumb says:
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    Mike,
    Thanks for the well thought out response! It’s people like you who make Razzball the best fantasy site on the web!

    • Mike

      Mike says:
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      @The Thumb: thanks man! I really appreciate that.

  6. Brad says:
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    Hey Mike, since I am a nerd, I am looking into which 5 i want next season in ops/QS 6×6.

    Which 5 you like out of the following?

    Bryce
    Harvey
    Wilin
    Carpenter
    Marte
    Lawrie
    Butler
    Weaver
    Latos
    Hamels

    Thank you

    • Mike

      Mike says:
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      @Brad: Nerds unite!…I’d go Bryce, Harvey, Marte, Lawrie, and Butler. Disclaimer I usually go hitter heavy in keeper leagues…Thanks for reading!

  7. The Thumb says:
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    Hey Mike, since we were talking about him earlier, would you drop Gardner for Dyson? I don’t particularly need runs just the steals.

    • The Thumb says:
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      @The Thumb: I can also drop Middlebrooks but he’s on fire.

      • Mike

        Mike says:
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        @The Thumb: I’m fine with that for steals only as long as you go into knowing he’ll yield playing time. For example, last night he didn’t start the game but still got a steal, and that’s probably the exception more than the rule. I agree you should hold Middlebrooks.

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