Since being traded to the Royals ten days ago, Emilio Bonifacio has seven steals – more than any player in baseball in that span. Obviously, he’s benefited from more playing time in his new home. He’s started all but one game since the trade and while he hasn’t exactly contributed much in the other fantasy categories, he’s been piling up the steals. It shouldn’t come as too much of a surprise since the Royals are near the top of the league in both stolen bases (112) and success rate (83%). Bonifacio has always had the wheels too. Just last year he stole 30 bases in just 64 games played. His dual eligibility at second base and outfield is a huge boost to his fantasy value. This week he’ll draw the Twins and Blue Jays. The Twins are stingy against the stolen base, but Boni should have some success on the base paths against his former team later in the week. Here are some other speedsters worth a look:
Jarrod Dyson – (@MIN, @TOR)
So this is interesting. Dyson only started three games last week, but still ended up with more steals than Bonifacio. Last Monday I picked up Dyson looking ahead to the Nationals match-up and I was a little disappointed that he was riding the pine so much. That disappointment didn’t last long as he still managed to swipe a bag in three of the games he didn’t start. He’s the poster boy for empty steals, but the points you could gain in the category are well worth it.
Eric Young – (PHI, @WAS) Green Light Special
Eric Young gets the green light special tag this week with these match-ups. He had a couple of multi-hit efforts last week and also chipped in 3 stolen bases. Both Philly and Washington are terrible at controlling the running game and Young will see them 7 times in the coming week. Washington continues to sport the worst caught stealing percentage in all of baseball at 14%.
L.J. Hoes – (@CWS, SEA)
The man whose name has been the target of more dirty puns than any player in baseball this year is scorching hot. He’s hit over .400 in the last week and he has recorded a steal in each of his last three games. That puts him at 7 stolen bases in just 22 games played. His stolen base numbers in the minors weren’t anything eye-popping, but he did swipe 24 across three levels in 2012. I wouldn’t be surprised to see him end up with 12-15 on the season the way the Astros run.
Anthony Gose – (NYY, KC)
The Blue Jays’ outfield is a total mess of injuries and it has opened up some playing time for Gose. He showed above average speed in the minor leagues, with a ridiculous 69 steals in 2011 (Double-A). I’d reserve him for deeper leagues or AL-only leagues, though. His strikeout rates are a red flag as they haven’t been under 20% since 2009 when he was in Single-A.
Jordan Schafer – (CLE, MIA)
Another player benefiting from an injured outfield is Jordan Schafer. With Jason Heyward out and B.J. Upton still struggling, Schafer should get a significant bump in playing time. He’s managed 2 steals in the past week, but his bat has been chilly with just 3 hits in that same period of time. I’d give him a look in NL-only leagues, but there are probably better options out there at the moment.
Kolten Wong – (CIN, @PIT)
I mentioned Wong last week, and he rewarded my faith in him with 3 stolen bases. His bat has gone cold, however, and he isn’t starting everyday. The Reds are stingy against the run with only 53 allowed on the year. It all adds up to me not counting on Wong for SAGNOF this week. It’s just the Wong week for it. (Sorry, I couldn’t resist)
Red Sox (BAL, CWS), Tigers (OAK, CLE), Angels (TB, MIL) – If you read this column regularly, you know these three teams are the holy triumvirate of stolen bases allowed. I’d recommend exploring options from any of the teams facing them (in parentheses) when setting your daily lineups.
Billy Hamilton Watch 2013: Still not on the 40-man. Frowny face.
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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