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.
Players listed are available in at least 50% of ESPN fantasy baseball leagues. Stats from Sunday’s games are not included.
Leonys Martin – Martin continued his hot streak on the base paths, with 2 more steals Friday and Saturday. He now has 8 on the season and has quickly caught up to players like Will Venable in the stolen base department. He’s still owned in less than 20% of ESPN leagues despite hitting over .300 with 5 steals in the past two weeks. Playing time doesn’t seem to be as much of an issue anymore, as Craig Gentry sees more and more time on the bench in favor of the hot-hitting Martin. Martin will get a series against the Red Sox in the coming week, who have allowed the third most stolen bases in all of baseball. We saw Revere have success against Boston last week, and I would expect the same success from Martin.
Ben Revere - Another one of last week’s green lights that worked out, Revere swiped a pair of bags against Boston despite getting banged up from crashing into the outfield wall. Revere is hitting .296 over the last week and, like Martin, is getting more and more starts from Cholly Manuel after going through a bit of a rough patch. He won’t provide much besides steals, but that’s what we’re here for. His match-ups this week against the Marlins and Brewers are neutral, but he is still available (40% owned) if you need to slide some steals help into the back of your outfield.
Elliot Johnson – Another guy with two steals this past week and now 8 on the season is Elliot Johnson. He is taking more and more starts away from Chris Getz at second base for the Royals, but it’s hard to say who’ll start when and where since Getz is a lefty and Johnson is a switch hitter. We’re kind of at the whim of Yost with this one, which is never good. What’s interesting is that if you platoon Getz and Johnson, you actually end up with a really speedy player. Between the two of them, they had 4 steals last week alone, or as much as one Jose Altuve. We could start calling this platoon mutant Chrelliot Jetzon.