As we have discussed several times over the last few iterations of this piece, as the fantasy baseball season wears on, we as fantasy managers find ourselves playing guys we never imagined. Often, those two to three bags a player can provide outweighs the awful batting average and lack of category production elsewhere. Understanding a given team’s strengths and weaknesses is massively essential early in the season. However, as August draws on, it becomes more about attacking categories where points can be had while guarding your flank against attackers looking to overtake you. This often leads us to play some players that we would have never considered earlier in the season and bench stalwarts that have helped us to get to this point of success. Let’s take a look at some true hold-your-nose players who can help in SBs.
- Wynton Bernard (COL) – You will be forgiven if you don’t know Bernard a 31-year-old who finally made his MLB debut after ten minor league seasons. However, he has a nearly full-time job playing for the Rockies and has three steals in eight games. The average is high so far but it’s not likely to remain that high. However, the speed will play and can be helpful for fantasy managers.
- Rodolfo Castro (PIT) – Castro is a guy who has had several cups of coffee with varying success levels. There hasn’t been much minor league speed in terms of gaudy SB totals but he has two in the last two weeks along with a homer. He could provide a nice profile rest of the way but the BA and all other counting stats will leave a lot to be desired.
- Greg Allen (PIT) – I talked up Allen a few weeks ago when he came back from injury but he has been better of late with five steals in two weeks. There is almost nothing else appealing about the profile from a roto standpoint but the speed is elite and the PT is there.
- Cesar Hernandez (WSH) – Hernandez has three steals in the last few weeks and with the injury to Luis Garcia has regained a regular role. There is not going to be much power, but there have been solid stretches of average. You could do worse than Cesar if speed is a need.
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Outside of our usual targets, one guy who is seeing a large number of stolen bases allowed is Tomas Nido. While he does not play daily, the Mets seem comfortable using him enough alongside James McCann. In the next few weeks, the Mets face the Dodgers, Nationals, and Pirates. This gives a little boost to the Pirates and Nationals above.
Additionally, continue to target the Marlins, Rangers, and Mariners as their catchers have been heavily attacked by stolen base threats this season. The Marlins get the Phillies, Braves, and Padres in the next few weeks. The Mariners get Texas next week who have a few cheap SB threats most notably Bubba Thompson. On the other side of that same matchup, Sam Haggerty and Dylan Moore could snag an extra bag or two.
This late in the season, every small edge can help make the difference between a title and second place. Make sure that while you may see stolen bases as a place to advance, you need to be acutely aware of the places where you can fall as well, especially when rostering these flawed player types.