Well that was a nice easy title to kick things off after a week’s vacation. All that fresh sea air and funnel cake at the Jersey Shore really refreshed me spiritually. Of course the Atlantic City Expressway had the reverse effect, so I guess I have to call it a wash. This week, James Jones and his five steals in two weeks is getting the lede. Jones went from being more of a deep/AL-only play to mixed league relevant rather quickly. His biggest asset in fantasy is obviously the speed, and he’s now 17-for-18 in stolen base attempts in just 228 plate appearances. The 25-year-old outfielder bats from the left side and he’s a no-brainer add if you need some cheap steals out of an OF5 slot. Jones will face off against the Twins and Athletics this week. The Twins are just outside the top ten in MLB for steals allowed. By the by, it’s hard not to think of James Earl Jones when discussing this guy. My association with JEJ isn’t Darth Vader or Field of Dreams, though. It’s as the host of Long Ago & Far Away, a trippy claymation style kid’s show. Maybe there are some other thirty-somethings out there who remember the Pied Piper episode as vividly as I do. I digress. Here are some other steals plays for this week in 2014 fantasy baseball…
Craig Gentry – SF, @SF, @SEA (0% owned)
I give Gentry a spin every now and again when I have a short schedule and need some speed in my lineup. He’s made the most of a part-time role, swiping 15 bags in 154 plate appearances. Coco Crisp has had some on and off again neck issues as well, so keep an eye on this guy should Crisp miss any extended time. In deep leagues, he can give a team a speed boost from the wire and will likely still be there the next time you need him. San Francisco has allowed 60 steals so far this season, which is good for T-6th in MLB.
Eric Young Jr. – ATL, MIA (16% owned)
EY2 has seen at-bats from the leadoff spot against right-handed pitching recently. His three-steal outburst against the Pirates last week is an example of what he can bring to the table. The Pirates, by the way, have overtaken the Padres as the best team to run against this year. EY2 draws the Braves and Marlins this week. Both teams are in the top ten for stolen bases allowed. He’s a great play for speed this period.
Jarrod Dyson – @TB, DET (1% owned)
Even with the Ibanez signing, Dyson should see his increased playing time continue while Aoki is sidelined. Like Gentry, Dyson is SAGNOF in it’s purest form. He has a limited role, but he’s one of the best at getting the most steals out of his plate appearances. This year he has swiped 13 bags in just 144 plate appearances. At such a low ownership, you can really stream him for steals in daily leagues. He’s not a great play in weekly leagues as he sits against LHP. Dyson gets the Tigers this week, a top ten team in stolen bases allowed.
Drew Stubbs – SD, MIN (10% owned)
Stubbs should really be rostered for more than just his speed, as frequent commentator and dynasty leaguer extraordinaire Goodfold2 pointed out a couple of weeks ago. He’ll be especially interesting this week against the Padres at home. San Diego is second in MLB for stolen bases allowed. Tuesday’s starter, Tyson Ross, has been especially bad at holding baserunners.
DJ LeMahieu – SD, MIN (10% owned)
Arismendy Alcantara – (0% owned)
Alcantara is listed as SS eligible at ESPN, but he’s getting reps in the outfield in the minor leagues. He’s similar to Mookie Betts in his fantasy impact without the crazy hype. Alcantara has ten homers to go along with 21 steals in just 86 games this season. While it’s unclear when exactly he will be called up, he has swiped 25+ bags in each of his last two minor league seasons and should be stashed if you have a slot for him.