We’ve all been told to be patient with our fantasy baseball stars in the early going. As a Giancarlo Stanton owner, I was rewarded for my patience as Stanton finally did what I have been waiting for him to do since draft day… he stole his first base (against the Reds, too). Snarkiness aside, let’s look at one of Stanton’s teammates, Juan Pierre, who is probably sitting on your waiver wire as we speak.
Juan Pierre, OF – Old man Pierre, now in his 14th season, probably got into Stanton’s ear and told him to forget about the power game and focus on his wheels. The speedy veteran is off to a slow start, batting only .192 with a .225 OBP to begin the year, but I think we need to afford him the same opportunity to right the ship as we would other slow starters. In his long career, Pierre has never struck out at a rate higher than 8.5%, and he has never had an OBP less than .325. I was surprised to see his ownership at ~8% in ESPN leagues. While Pierre isn’t going to help you at all in HR or RBI, he’ll be penciled in as the Marlins’ leadoff hitter every night. In terms of opportunities, Pierre will give you more at-bats than anybody who is probably sitting on your wire right now. And speaking of Stanton, when the big guy does start to hit, Pierre’s run totals will benefit from getting on base ahead of him. After swiping 37 bags in 130 games last year with the Phillies, Pierre has 3 on the year already in 2013. One of the interesting things about last year’s performance was that he was also very efficient at stealing bases, only getting caught 7 times in 44 attempts. Across MLB, Pierre is second only to Michael Bourn in SB since 2010 with 132. If you are looking for cheap speed, Pierre isn’t somebody you want to overlook, and he won’t sit on the wire long once he starts to get on base more frequently.
Rajai Davis, OF – Another overlooked speedster is Davis, who will likely see a decrease in his playing time soon as Jose Bautista returns to the lineup. He should still get some looks against lefties out of the DH position in a platoon with Adam Lind. While Davis is not somebody that you can set and forget, if you can afford to carry him on your bench as a match-up play he is always a great bet to garner a stolen base or three on a weekly basis. I mentioned that Juan Pierre was second only to Michael Bourn in SB since 2010. It’s also worth mentioning that third on that list is our friend Rajai Davis with 130 SB.