I already went over my Danny Santana fantasy three weeks ago. But forget SAGNOF, Daniel Santana was an offensive machine this weekend! Leading off for the Twins on Saturday, the 23-year-old went 4-for-5 with a double, five runs batted in, and his fourth steal of the season. Need more? He’s eligible as a shortstop and an outfielder. His defense hasn’t been all that great in the outfield, but he could continue to see reps at both center and shortstop even when Morales is ready to DH. Santana is now 4-for-4 in stolen base attempts in just 72 plate appearances. He’s also hitting .373 with a .408 on base percentage. While it won’t last, he’s worth a look while he’s hot if you need a short-term spark. He’ll face the Blue Jays and the Tigers this week. Both teams are in the top ten in baseball for stolen bases allowed… we call that a green light special.
Speaking of the Tigers, Alex Avila took some David Ortiz lumber to his cranium on Friday. He’s apparently suffering from a mild concussion. For our purposes, having Avila out might actually be a good thing. He had been nabbing base-stealers at a 42% rate, making last year’s 17% caught stealing percentage look like just an outlier in an otherwise successful career defensively. I’m trying to wrap my head around the fact that the Tigers have still allowed the tenth most stolen bases in the league if Avila has thrown out 42% of them so far. Should he miss time, his back-up on the depth chart is Bryan Holaday. Holaday has caught three base runners in 11 attempts. That’s good for a 27% caught stealing percentage, which has been about league average. Here are some steals options for this week in 2014 fantasy baseball…
Craig Gentry – @LAA, NYY
With Coco Crisp still not fully recovered from his neck injury and Josh Reddick on the disabled list, Gentry and his 11 steals should see an uptick in playing time over the next week or so. It’s also worth mentioning that Gentry has yet to be caught stealing this year in 11 attempts. The matchups against the Angels and Yankees aren’t the greatest.
Brock Holt – @BAL, CLE
His name sounds like somebody who would take your lunch money and throw you in a trash can. Holt is a rare bird with corner infield eligiblity and some wheels. He’s 3-for-3 in stolen base attempts this season (116 plate appearances) and has led off for the Red Sox in each of their last five games. Holt had seven steals in 26 Triple-A games prior to his call-up and he’ll face the Orioles and Indians this week. Both are in the top half of the league in steals allowed, and Baltimore is in the top ten. Holt also got the J-FOH seal of approval this week.
James Jones – NYY, TEX
While he has tough match-ups this period, Jones is still a player that deep-league owners should have their eye on. He has four steals in the last two weeks, and has been hitting towards the top (if not leading off) in the Mariners’ lineup. Steamer is projecting another 12 steals on the year from the 25-year-old.
Jonathan Villar – @ARI, ARI, TB
Villar has been frustrating to own, especially with his recent slump and elbow injury. He returned to the lineup Sunday, however, and I’m going to stick with him this year due to his steals upside and the little bit of pop you don’t normally get with other SAGNOF middle infielders. I recently picked him up in the Razzball writer’s league. He did have seven steals in the month of May and that type of production is possible again this summer. He’ll draw the Diamondbacks and Rays this week in a full slate of games. The Diamondbacks aren’t quite a green light team this season, but they’re close with 38 steals allowed (12th in MLB).
Eric Young – Young won’t come off the disabled list this week as planned. Apparently he felt something in his hamstring. Mets top pitching prospect Noah Syndergaard was also injured this week. In unrelated news, Ike Davis was seen carrying a Mets voodoo doll in the Pirates’ clubhouse. Let it go, bro.
Mike’s on Twitter @643ball