One of the perks of getting burned by the same player year after year (in this case Cameron Maybin) is that I get to come up with a different pun for a title each season. This one wasn’t my brainchild, though. It comes to us courtesy of Rudy Gamble. He’s not just a stat guy. He’s pretty hilarious, especially on Twitter. Maybin burns me every year because I get sucked in to the youth (he’s still just 27) and the glimpses of upside he still flashes from time to time. Take last year for example, when he came back to the field for what ended up being just a handful of games, but still stole four bases. Maybin was one of my offseason choices for SAGNOF outfielders simply because he still has that 30-40 stolen base potential in his legs. He’ll have to hit and hit well to earn his keep in the crowded San Diego outfield, and health is obviously a major concern, but when he’s on the field he’s still a good steals play. The center fielder will draw the Giants and Diamondbacks this week. Both teams are in the top-10 in baseball this season for steals allowed. Lots of options for steals with some recent injuries so let’s get to it…

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Jarrod Dyson gets a nice short-term spike in value with the injury to Royals center fielder Lorenzo Cain. Dyson had been placed on the bereavement list heading into the weekend, but he is expected to rejoin the team today. So while he missed the Twins series to sit in awkward silence with his mee-maw and step-peppers, he’ll be deployed in the Royals outfield from today forward until Cain returns.

This means a great opportunity for SAGNOF. I mentioned Dyson in my 2013 wrap-up because he was really one of the most productive base-stealers in baseball last season. Dyson stole 34 bags in just 239 plate appearances. That’s roughly a steal every 7 plate appearances and was the best rate in baseball outside of billy Hamilton. Dyson is your best bet right now for free steals. I say free because I doubt he was drafted in most standard leagues and his ownership percentage at ESPN right now is a whopping 0.0%. He’ll draw the Indians and Orioles this week for seven games. The Orioles have been tough to run against, but the Indians are in the middle of the pack in terms of steals allowed.

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Kolten Wong has received the Grey seal of approval from the BUY column, but I’d like to take a minute to talk about his wheels, considering he’s owned in less than 20 percent of ESPN leagues. He’s hitting higher in the batting order for the Cardinals now, and has stolen three bases in the past week. He’s also hot, riding a six-game hit streak entering today. Wong stole 26 and 23 bases in the last two years respectively, so 20 steals is a safe bet, especially if he can gain some more at-bats from hitting towards the top of the lineup. Last year at Triple-A Memphis, Wong stole 20 bags and was only caught once. He’ll draw the Brewers and Nationals this week. Both have been stingy in allowing stolen bases so far this season, so Wong might not have an easy go of it. Over the Wong haul, though, I like him for 20 steals the rest of the way. Here’s some of this week’s steals plays…

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It may only be for two games, but Dee Gordon draws a nice match-up against the Tigers to start the week. Gordon is already in mid-season SAGNOF form, hitting over .400 with 3 steals entering Sunday’s game. Alex Avila can’t catch a cold. In 2013 he caught base stealers at a 17% clip. That was well below the 28% league average. Word on the street is that he spent the off-season catching up on Breaking Bad and True Detective instead of working on his times to second base, so here’s hoping the good times continue. Tuesday’s probable starter Anibal Sanchez gave up a steal every seven innings pitched last year and the battery should be an easy target for a speedster like Gordon. I found the info on Sanchez using the new SB Rates vs. SP tool here at Razzball. It’s a big help when deciding which pitcher’s to target for stolen bases in your daily match-ups.

There was a tear in the fabric of the SAGNOF universe during Opening Week. Pedro Alvarez stole a base off of Yadier Molina while Billy Hamilton was caught. Black is white. up is down. We’ve gone through the looking glass, folks. Seriously though, Hamilton looks lost. Good thing we have SAGNOF options for all of us schlubs who didn’t draft him in the first five rounds. Here are this week’s steals plays…

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It’s back to business as usual with the SAGNOF column after an offseason on Team Preview Island. It was awesome. T. Moore [Ed. Note– Cheater!] and I sipped little umbrella drinks on the beach while we chatted MLB teams. Before we get to this week’s SAGNOF players, I’m afraid I will have to link bomb you, so heads up.

First, if you’re new here, check out this blast from the past. That’s not a YouTube link, I swear. Here’s the 2013 stolen base data for the best and worst catchers to run against. Here’s the SB Rates vs. SP tool. That’s a great tool for us speed freaks that Rudy came up with. I’ll be referring to it in these posts as the season progresses. Finally, there’s a new steals archive page that will house all of these posts. You can also use it to thumb through some of the offseason articles. There, that wasn’t so bad. Moving forward, it’s time for Week 1. This week’s list includes a young man named Abraham Almonte of the Seattle Mariners, who might be Lloyd McClendon’s new favorite toy…

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It’s been about a year since Grey gave me my first SAGNOF assignment . Maybe I’ve matured like a good wine and this year will be better than the last. Or maybe I’ve become boxed wine… descending into SAGNOF madness, shouting SAGNOF! at innocent passersby’s from my front porch, and recommending you pick up anybody that plays center field or shortstop with more than two steals in the minors. Since I started writing these there have been some ups…like the time “green light special” Rajai Davis stole seven bases in one week against Boston and Detroit. There have also been some downs… like the time I wrote an entire blurb about Atlanta’s Elliot Johnson thinking he still played for the Royals *shudder*. It’s a new year and a new SAGNOF you. This year Rudy has given us a great new tool we can all use for help in the SAGNOF department. Also, feel free to peruse some of the other offseason SAGNOF posts, like the outfielders preview, infielders preview and the 2013 year in review. Just don’t get your fingerprints on Rajai’s “King of SAGNOF” sceptre while you’re in there. He is extremely touchy about that and he will come at you.

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Slow clap for all the folks who drafted Jean Segura last year and his 44 steals. Now a slower, even more appreciative clap for Grey, who tagged him as a fantasy sleeper heading into 2013. The following list is not meant to find you the 2014 version of Jean Segura, but rather identify the middle infielders who are the essence of SAGNOF (Steals Ain’t Got NO Face). These players will be cheap at the draft or may go undrafted entirely. You probably won’t want any of them as your starting shortstop or second baseman, but you’ll want to stash them away in the dark corners of your mind for when you are desperate for steals and there is a vacancy in your middle infidel slot. How cheaply you can acquire these players has a lot to do with the depth of your league and since not all fantasy leagues are created equal (thank God), you’ll have to take that into consideration when weighing the value of their steals. And hey, you never know, maybe the next Jean Segura is in here somewhere…

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This is the last stop on the SAGNOF express for outfielders. You can Part 1 and Part 2 to catch up, or, if you’re like me, you’ve already been distracted by an advertisement for an adult MMROPG on the sidebar. Just a reminder, these are SAGNOF posts (Steals Ain’t Got NO Face) so we won’t be discussing Billy Hamilton or Jacoby Ellsbury, etc. etc. Instead we’ve got three more outfielders who, for all sorts of reasons, should be obtainable at a nice low price and who may even be available on a shallow league’s waiver wire post-draft. Leonys Martin, Adam Eaton, and Peter Bourjos are all players with relatively little MLB experience, but who could also provide sneaky value with their legs in 2014. While none of these guys are going to win you a ring by themselves, they each have some speedy upside that makes them a nice complement to a fantasy outfield.

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Finding cheap stolen bases in your fantasy league is what SAGNOF is all about, and sometimes that means rostering a risky player here and there. You know who I’m talking about. They’re the guys you see once you scroll down into the triple digits. The ones with the minus sign next to their name on $ values. In the last post (Part 1), I looked at three outfielders whose playing time situations made them nice options for stolen bases without breaking your bank. This week, we’ve got two more outfield candidates for quality steals numbers at a discounted price: Ben Revere and Cameron Maybin. Both are centerfielders with a 40-steal season under their belts, but both are also coming off of 2013 seasons that were plagued by injuries. While Maybin and Revere are most likely going to see their values depressed in this year’s draft, I think they are a gamble worth taking as a fifth outfielder in most mixed leagues thanks to their speed on the basepaths.

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Time to move on from the 2013 data (quit livin’ in the past, man) and get to the 2014 SAGNOF previews. Just a disclaimer, these posts are mainly focused on guys who will go later in drafts or possibly even undrafted in some shallower leagues – in other words cheap. You won’t see much written about Billy Hamilton or Jean Segura or Jacoby Ellsbury around these parts since their stolen-base contributions will most likely cost you quite a bit. This is all about *not* paying for steals (Steals Ain’t Got NO Face).

Please, blog, may I have some more?