Happy Wednesday, you fantastic Razzballians! It’s your favorite father, MarmosDad, back for another exciting episode of SAGNOF preseason names and numbers to help you plan for your current and upcoming drafts. 

I’ve said it a few times this preseason, but it’s worth a repeat. Most of the names I’ll write up here won’t be those top-tier, five-category studs. We all know who those are, and why they’re being picked in the first two rounds of your typical 12 team snake drafts. Trea Turner? Yep, he has elite speed. What about Ronald Acuña? Big-time wheels. But when we’re digging into a guy named TJ Friedl? Well…Now we’re talking.

Last week I outlined what kinds of things I look for when mining for those mid-to-late round steals. In essence, my recipe is a combination of Age, Experience, Quantity (of steals), and Opportunity (team philosophy). I usually weigh these, along with BB%, hit% … or more commonly just OBP if you want a quicker reference point. The focus in the last article was on a few guys that fell into that “Age” category (23-28) in Amed Rosario, Riley Greene, and Garrett Mitchell. 

This week, I’ll take a peek at the “Experience” part of the recipe and see if we can target a few names that might be worth a look-see in your 12 or 15 team drafts to help you pad that stolen base category.

But first, a quick moment to point out a couple of the things that are worth checking in on here at Razzball. The information that I usually pull numbers from is available for all of you in Rudy’s 2023 Fantasy Baseball Subscriptions package. The War Room is fully operational and is what I’ve been staring at for a good while every day for the last couple of weeks as I’ve drafted through round 26 in TGFBI and the first 5 rounds of my Razzslam draft.

If you’re still on the fence about subscribing, it’s well worth the plunge. Don’t forget that all of Grey’s 2023 Fantasy Baseball Rankings are free to access, too, (and what I also reference when writing up these players each week).

So from last week’s article, EXPERIENCE can be summed up like this…(and I know it can be summed up like this…because I wrote it) – 

  • EXPERIENCE is important, too. We’re looking for players that have at least 3 years of playing time somewhere as a pro. It doesn’t matter where, as long as it’s minor or major league experience. Did this guy spend a year in rookie ball, then move up to AA, then get a half season at AAA before that anticipated show call-up? Getting used to the “how and when” to steal is as important as possessing that speed skill itself. Proving that the player can steal bases at a professional level is a huge indicator of future success. Any experience with steals at the major league level is the next step that should be a determining factor in our research.”

This one is pretty straightforward. We’ll look at guys that have at least a bit of time spent in pro ball; it can be minor or major league time. These names won’t be your prospects or your rookie-of-the-year eligibles. Think of availability between ADP of 75 all the way to those post-300 names that can fill in the back end of your rosters to beef up the steals projections and get you closer to your target percentile.


Andres Gimenez, CLE 2B, (Pro EXP: 3 MiLB years, 3 MLB years) – ADP: 80 – 

Gimenez technically has 6 years of pro experience. He played 2017 at Single A, 2018 and 2019 in AA before getting the call to Citi Field with the Mets in 2020. That makes for 3 years of MiLB experience, (excluding the 2016 time spent in the Dominican Summer League at the age of 17), and 3 years of MLB time, despite one of those being the shortened 2020 season.

As far as stolen base upside is concerned, Gimenez has quite a few of those checkboxes working for him, too. He is just 24 years old and has a pretty firm lock on the starting 2B job in Cleveland. The Guardians had the 3rd highest total for stolen bases last year at 0.73 (behind Texas’s 0.79 and Miami’s 0.75), so his theft light should remain bright green. 

According to Fangraphs, Gimenez has 60 grade speed. The Forecaster has him tied for 13th in SPD score (137) with Trea Turner and Gunnar Henderson. Gimenez eclipsed that 30 SB threshold in his professional career in 2018 when he swiped 38 total bags between A+ and AA in 122 games played (at age 19). His SB% last year was well above average at 87%, and he is coming off of a nice benchmark of 20 MLB steals in 2022. 

Steamer has Gimenez projected for a 21 SB season in 2023 with a decent OBP of .329, (a significant regression from his lofty .371 clip from last year). Grey has Gimenez ranked as his 6th best 2B in his rankings with 23 projected SB. I took him at 77 overall in the TGFBI draft and had to reach a bit higher in ADP for the Razzslam this week to roster him in the 5th round.

Harrison Bader, NYY OF, (Pro EXP: 3 MiLB years, 6 MLB years) – ADP: 170 –

I wanted to go with Jazz Chisholm, but we’ll save him for a piece later on in the series. Steven Kwan was another name I looked at (ADP: 115), but he only has two years of experience, so that doesn’t fit our criteria either. 

“Darth” Bader was where I ultimately landed for our middle of the pack pick today. He was drafted in 2015 and thrown right into minor league ball (A- and A that first year). In 2016, he split time between AA and AAA. After 123 games in AAA in 2017, Bader got a 32 game taste of the bigs in St. Louis and has been up ever since. 

Bader is a bit older than Gimenez but still falls into our sweet spot zone for age (23-28) at 28 years old. The Yankees were 7th in team steals last year at 0,63 per game, so the team philosophy seems to favor Bader’s running game in a similar way that Cleveland’s will help Gimenez.

Some of Bader’s numbers run parallel to Gimenez’s, too. Scouts tagged him with an identical 60 grade speed score, and Bader was well above the 130 Forecaster SPD rating at a 151. In the minor leagues, Bader didn’t hit that lofty target of 30 SB in a season like Gimenez did, managing to top out at 17 twice (2015 and 2017). The SB% in 2022 was similar to the aforementioned middle infielder, though, as Bader had an 85% success rate with his stolen base attempts (17/20).

Sounds great…until we look at his OBP numbers. A lot of people are fading Bader this spring because of his difficulties with getting on base. Last year’s .294 OBP falls somewhere between that “poor and awful” rating and is a giant red flag for those that are looking to fade the Yankee centerfielder.

Steamer projects Bader’s OBP to at least improve to a .311 in 2023, but that’s still below average. The stolen base projection is 21. Grey has Bader ranked as his 38th OF for this season with 19 projected steals.

I’m not reaching for Bader in draft and hold leagues, but there are worse bets if you’re looking for a guy with good speed in a very powerful lineup. It doesn’t hurt that Bader’s elite defense should keep him on the field most days, too. Maybe it’s the $8 price tag that I have him at in our AL Only home league that fuels my bias, but he seems like a decent bet if you can insulate that average elsewhere. If he ends up anywhere near the top of that Yankee lineup, it’s safe to say he should get some healthy counting stats too.


(Darth Bader … hopefully not force choking your team’s batting average)


TJ Friedl, CIN OF, (Pro EXP: 5 MiLB years, 1 MLB year) – ADP: 448.76 –

I’m pretty sure the term died out about the same time that we stopped tracking stats for our leagues using the old Baseball Weekly newsprint, but at a post 400 ADP, this is what they used to call a “deep sleeper” back in the pre-internet days. I even wrote this guy up in a small blurb last season with some other Player Profiles.

First off, Friedl is no spring chicken. He was signed by Cincinnati as a free agent right after the 2016 draft (at a record $732,500 bonus). At the time, Friedl drew comparisons to former top prospect Jeremy Reed and longtime Yankee Brett Gardner. He was dropped right into rookie ball that summer and managed to steal 7 bases in 20 GP. 2017-2021 was the gradual ascent through the minors, with a specific highlight of that magic benchmark for rabbits…a 30 SB season in 2018 between A+ and AA at age 22. Since the call-up in 2021, Friedl has played a total of 103 games in Cincy through two seasons.

If we’re going in order with the comparisons as we did with the other two players here, Friedl enters his age 27 season in 2023, so he’s at least hitting his peak. Unlike our other two teams above, though, Cincinnati ranked in the bottom 6 teams for steals at 0.36 per game. 

That piece of information might not matter, as the calling card here is Friedl’s 70 grade speed. Yep. You read that right. This guy can flat-out burn. He projects at a 131 SPD score from the Forecaster and is slotted in as the Reds’ everyday LF (according to Roster Resource). Steamer has Friedl improving on his .314 OBP from 2022 with a .320 projection for this season but only has him stealing 10 bags. Grey’s projection is more generous with 15 SB in 405 ABs. He’s ranked as Grey’s 102nd OF (just ahead of #103 Esteury Ruiz). 

I’ve seen enough from the numbers to be willing to roll the dice on the potential, especially at a post-400 ADP. I think he can be one of those mid teens SB guys that could benefit from the rule changes too. Any starting OF with 70 grade anything is a pretty good bet to round out the last pick or two in your snake drafts this spring. He’ll be one of my final round selections in TGFBI…if we ever get past the 26th round. 

That’s it for this week! Come on back next time when I dig a bit more into QUANTITY as a factor in our player searches. I’ll be sifting through the numbers to find some guys that have stolen 20 bags in a season, or managed to reach the summit of that 30 steal mountain at least once in the majors or minors. If you have any questions or comments, feel free to hit me up in the comments here or @MarmosDad on Twitter!