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.
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