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…
Jarrod Dyson – TOR, DET
Dyson was my lede last week thanks to a great SB/PA ratio and new-found opportunity with the Cain injury. He promptly swiped two bags, which isn’t eye-popping, but steals beggars can’t be choosers. Dyson will likely platoon at center field with Justin Maxwell (who can also run by the way) but he’s still a great option for some cheap speed until Cain gets healthy. Both the Blue Jays and Tigers are among the top six teams in stolen bases allowed this year. This is as close to a green light special as I’m going to get at this point in the season.
Nate McLouth – @HOU, @PHI
The Harper injury opens the door for McLouth to see more playing time. He was one of the bigger surprises last year as far as stolen bases are concerned. He swiped 24 bags in the first half of 2013 for the Orioles and he’s worth watching since the Nationals will likely roll him out there the majority of the time Harper is shelved. I’m not in love for a weekly pick-up because the Nats only have five games on the schedule.
Gregory Polanco – @BAL, TOR
The buzz is getting stronger and both Scott and Guru wrote him up over the weekend. He’s no slouch on the basepaths with 77 steals over the past two minor league seasons (241 games) and 4 already this season. It’s only a matter of time before the Pirates call on him, and he’s got 30-steal potential in the majors. The 22-year-old outfielder is obviously a great stash and I’d say the time is now to grab him. I picked him up a week ago in the writer’s league.
Jemile Weeks – PIT, @MIN
With the injury to Chris Davis, Weeks got the call and will see some time at second base. He was hitting well in Triple-A to start the year and he’s already 3-for-8 with a triple in two games leading off for the Orioles. His time could be limited again once Manny Machado returns, but in deeper leagues where you’re hurting for a spark at MI, Weeks is worth a look for the short term. The Pirates have allowed the 2nd-most steals in baseball this year.
Marcus Semien – DET, @CLE
Remember that Rudy Gamble wit I told you about in the lede? That’s the same wit that pointed out the White Sox are rocking a 1-2 punch of Eaton Semien on their lineup card every night. This is comedy gold guys. Seriously, Semien has shown a knack for getting the big hits and it’s earned him a longer look with the White Sox even though Gordon Beckham has returned. He’s not a burner, but he gets a favorable matchup for two games with the Tigers early in the week. The Tigers aren’t the worst in the league, but they’ve still allowed 22 steals on the year thus far.
Eric Sogard – @TEX, @BOS
I own Sogard in a dynasty league as sort of a stop-gap player, but I was pleasantly surprised to see that he has three steals on the season already. We’re talking deep leagues or AL-only leagues since he’ll sit once in a while and just isn’t very good. “Specs” gets a decent match-up for steals later this week against Boston though. The Sox are currently in the top ten for steals allowed (18).
Mike’s on Twitter @643ball