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Norichika Aoki is one of those guys that has come up a lot in the comments on these posts, and for good reason. After posting a really impressive 10 homer/30 steal season in 2012, his steals numbers have been pretty worrisome in 2013. Through the first half of this season, Aoki had only stolen 10 bases and had been caught 10 times. I’m no mathematician, but that’s a pretty lousy 50% CS% and not what you want to see from a guy you drafted for wheels. I had begun to think that Aoki’s first MLB season may have been a blip on the radar when I looked back on his numbers from Japan. Starting with his 2011 season, his steals numbers from his last five years there were 8, 19, 18, 31, and 17. Hence my thinking that last year’s 30 may have been just another blip. Well, Aoki changed some of that thinking this past week with a 9-game hit streak and 4 steals. More importantly, he wasn’t caught in any of those attempts. He’s not somebody that is readily available to pick up of course, but he may have found his way to your bench before his recent hot streak. Get him starting for the coming week because he gets two fantastic match-ups against the Cubs and Nationals, two teams that are terrible against the stolen base this year, and Aoki is looking like he’s ready to run.

Rajai Davis – (Last Week: 6 SB, This Week: @OAK, @LAA)

Despite only getting 14 at-bats, Rajai swiped 6 bags last week (including 4, yes 4!, yesterday). This is just how he rolls. If you can stomach the fact that he’s back in a platoon role with the Jays and play the match-ups accordingly, he’s still a great source of steals. Can’t emphasize enough how much I like any of these guys when they face the Angels, who are in a race with the Tigers for most stolen bases allowed in baseball. He could repeat that crazy performance from Sunday against the Halos.

Jonathan Villar – (Last Week: 4 SB, This Week: @BAL@MIN)

I was one of the 3% of ESPN players who picked up Villar last week, and so far I’ve been happy with the results. (Side note: The guys I recommend here are usually on my teams). After a couple of caught stealings (one of them a pickoff), Villar nabbed two on Saturday and another on Sunday. The Astros seem to be giving their guys the green light, and Villar’s above average speed plays really well in the leadoff spot. He strikes out a lot, but he’s also been getting some hits, which in turn has resulted in steals. Tough match-ups this week, but I’m still on the Villar bandwagon if you need a middle infielder.

Eric Young – (Last Week: 3 SB, This Week: @MIA, KC)

The collision with Tim Hudson was pretty awful. While Hudson’s injury was devastating, Young also got banged up from it. Despite the gimpy knee, he managed 3 steals this past week and should be good to go. Lagares will bump him to left field, so maybe the break from centerfield duties will be better for keeping those wheels healthy. The match-ups this week are kind of neutral, and Miami is actually pretty good at catching base stealers, so I’m expecting good (but not huge) SB numbers from him over the next seven days.

Juan Lagares – (Last Week: 2 SB, This Week: @MIA, KC)

It looks like Lagares will be the Mets centerfielder from here out, and that may be getting him some attention from fantasy owners. I’m not comfortable recommending him. While he stole 21 in Double-A in 2011, he was also caught 10 times. His other minor league numbers don’t point to a major base stealing threat, so he’s only a guy that I’m taking a flier on in NL-only leagues or when other options listed here are exhausted.

Junior Lake – (Last Week: 0 SB, This Week: MIL, LAD)

Despite not stealing any bags last week and cooling off recently with the bat, I still like Lake’s speed. He’s proven he has some above average wheels in the minors and with the recent departure of Alfonso Soriano, he should see regular playing time in the Cubs outfield. While he might not be as attractive as the other options listed here, I do like the match-up against Milwaukee and he’s definitely a better option than Lagares in my opinion.

Peter Bourjos (DL) - Took dry swings this week. Not to be confused with dry heaves, which is what you experience when you count on Peter Bourjos for fantasy production.

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

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

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From Around The Web

  1. Jack Full of Hate says:
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    Lagares? his two steals are in one game, I’m not sure what the Mets are doing half the time. Guy looks like he has speed, just not utilized

    • Mike

      Mike says:
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      @Jack Full of Hate: yeah, I’m not buying. one of the rare times I give a guy a blurb to say NOT to pick him up. I would insert a comment here about the Mets, but the Phils are just as squirrely, and at least the Mets have those two young arms to be excited about

      • Jack Full of Hate says:
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        @Mike: we have hit the dog days of fantasy where you would be better off letting the dog choose than ourselves….”come here boy, do i go Lagares or the new kid in Colorado Culberson……hey don’t lift your leg on my shoe”

        • Mike

          Mike says:
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          @Jack Full of Hate: ha! truth. the call ups are great, but the waiver wire options start to get a little thin

  2. Metta Muscle says:
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    Aoki is A-OK for this week, especially in deep leagues. I’m even using him in a 10-teamer. This is what happens when you roster Pujols and Kemp. And I thought drafting those two would put me over the top.

    • Mike

      Mike says:
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      @Metta Muscle: Bummer on Pujols..tearing your plantar whatever sounds really painful. Kind of amazing he played through as long as he did and still put up some decent numbers.

      • Aubrey Plaza's Pillow says:
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        @Mike: true, but would’ve been better for us, him, and the LAA if he would’ve just got the surgery around march 25 or so.

  3. Doc says:
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    You starting Aoki over Starling Marte this week? Marte still running but not hitting as much lately.

    • Mike

      Mike says:
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      @Doc: yeah, I’d ride Aoki while he’s hot

      • Mike

        Mike says:
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        @Mike: HitterTron has them about the same dollar value for the week, FWIW

  4. Anthony says:
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    So I’m in rebuild mode in my main league. I can acquire Matt Carpenter or Allen Craig. I’ve been trying to use a combo of Cespedes or Donaldson and Hill to get either one, is that worth it? It’s a very deep keeper league, we keep 16. Although, if I deal both Cespedes and Donaldson I can get Carpenter and Gardner. Anything you see worth it? I really want one of the Cardinals and to lose an Athletic!

    • Mike

      Mike says:
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      @Anthony: Both Cards are enticing, but I’d rather have Cespedes to be honest.

    • Spyre says:
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      @Anthony: I’d want Cespedes and Craig.

    • Mike

      Mike says:
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      @Anthony: I guess I misread the question. If you can hold onto Cespedes and still get Craig, I agree with Spyre. I thought you had to give Cespedes in both deals.

  5. The Thumb says:
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    What’s up with Nate McLouth? Should he be traded/dropped up for EYJ?

    • Mike

      Mike says:
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      @The Thumb: if you need steals I would. McLouth is still hitting, but it’s almost like somebody cornered him and said he’s not allowed to steal more than 30 bases this year, kind of came to a screeching halt. He’s still really useful, but I’d bet that EY2 has more SB ROS.

  6. razzkazz says:
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    Ok gents lets put some thought to this one if you can its a hard one……….

    Ian Kennedy or Josh Johnson

    rest of the way?

    • Mike

      Mike says:
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      @razzkazz: I like Kennedy. K’s still there and I always lean NL over AL when it comes to arms.

  7. AJ says:
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    What side of this trade you like Cargo(hurt)/Marte/Verlander for Puig/Myers/ Moore? Thanks

    • Mike

      Mike says:
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      @AJ: still like the CarGo side personally

    • Riff Raff says:
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      @AJ: hell nah

  8. Alex says:
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    Do I risk starting Cliff Lee this week?

    or go with cody allen, quintana or iwakuma?

    • Mike

      Mike says:
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      @Alex: Cliff is still the best of the bunch, I would run him out there, but Quintana owns the Indians 18 IP against them this year with three ER and 13 K’s. Indians bat like 160 against him. If the injury bugs you this would be a good week to give Jose a turn.

  9. AJ says:
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    Myers or Puig ROS?

    • Mike

      Mike says:
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      @AJ: Puig

      • AJ says:
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        @Mike: nice thanks..working on a trade to get Cargo/Marte/Verlander he is wanting Myers or Puig and 2 of my pitchers since he is really weak in that area….which 2 pitchers of this bunch would you offer? Liriano, Garza, Moore, Anibal, Fister

        • Mike

          Mike says:
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          @AJ: no problem, figured you had something cooking once i made the connection between the posts. love that you’re getting CarGo. I’d float Garza or Fister

          • AJ says:
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            @Mike: sweet will due, definitely i originally just wanted Cargo and Marte for all that nice speed but he offered Verlander….ehhhh high risk/high reward…im willing to take the risk…i can always go stream happy if needed

            • Mike

              Mike says:
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              @AJ: absolutely. I try not to sweat the arms in a deal when I’m getting what I want on offense for that very reason. There are tons of ‘em out there if you know how to use ‘em, and Verlander is kind of a wild card but could pay off.

              • AJ says:
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                @Mike: Oh yea most definitely, i see a lot of potential arms on the wire…which makes playing fantasy even funner (at times) lol

  10. Sick McNasty says:
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    Keeper question for ya brother….

    10 team league, keep any 8 indefinetly, 30 man rosters (MI,CI) 6×6 (OPS+Holds)

    I’m in 1st and will most likely stay there. I like to trade studs before deadline in 2:1s or for better picks next year. Here’s who I have to choose from….

    Miggy
    TuLo
    Votto
    Reyes
    Beltre
    Stanton
    Puig
    Ellsbury
    Carlos Gomez
    Kershaw
    Bumgarner
    Scherzer

    What 8 do you keep? And I know Cano & AU Shizz is available… Should I try to get them in the picture or focus on 1st round picks for next yr?

    Thanks!

    • Mike

      Mike says:
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      @Sick McNasty: that’s a stacked team brother! I’d keep Miggy, Tulo, Votto, Stanton, Puig, Beltre, Cargo Jr. and Kershaw

      of those two guys I might try to land Au Shizz, but Votto is no slouch if you can’t land him

  11. Alex says:
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    In 2nd in dynasty, 2 pts off first in 6×6. Should I trade Harper for Carlos Gonzalez or am i overthinking it?

    • Mike

      Mike says:
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      @Alex: can’t go wrong with either but I prefer Harper in dynasty format

  12. Nation says:
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    . @mike , this isn’t really a fantasy question per se , but any idea why the padres alexi amarista hasn’t been running at all this year? He’s never had very high steal numbers in the past but he has decent speed and generally has batted lower in the order (where the padres usually give guys green lights to try and get some offense going). He hasnt even attempted a single steal, so any insight into the methodology behind that philosophy? Thanks, love the work as always!

    • Mike

      Mike says:
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      @Nation: Thanks ! good question, looking at his numbers the CS% just has never been great, even when he stole 30+ bags back in A ball. the 8 he stole last year came along with 4 CS as well. the Padres were one of the run happy teams last year, but Amarista might be a case of good speed but poor CS% just equals average baserunner, hence the lack of attempts. To put it simply, if my guy gets caught too much, I might not give him the green light as often to avoid running into outs. His poor .301 OBP probably doesn’t help either. Just my two cents.

  13. Larry says:
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    Am I going to keep Braun over Freeman, Jose Fernandez, Sale, or Pedro Alvarez next season?

    • Mike

      Mike says:
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      @Larry: I would. There is still first round talent there.

  14. MB says:
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    Villar over Rickie Weeks?

    • Mike

      Mike says:
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      @MB: both are risky, but Villar has some upside here, I’d go with Villar

Comments are closed.