Every so often an under-the-radar prospect gets the call-up and immediately finds immediate impactful playing time. The biggest name thus far of the 2022 season is Cubs’ utility man Christopher Morel. Morel was ranked 16th by Fangraphs on the Cubs’ list going into the 2022 season. He already has five steals in his 13 games played and has found himself leading off. There’s a lot of swing and miss in the game but there is also solid pop. He is playing all over the field mostly in CF and at 2B and has posted a double-digit walk rate. He could perform similarly to Jonathan Villar’s historical seasons with 15-20 homers and 20+ SBs if he keeps this up.
- Another somewhat under-the-radar call-up was Cal Mitchell for the Pirates. There is not nearly as much speed as Morel but he could chip in five or so steals over the course of the season and is leading off
- Continuing with the low hype promotions we have Josh Smith of the Rangers. With Brad Miller getting injured Smith was promoted and has played in each of the last two games. In 2021, he had 26 steals across multiple levels and could have a massive impact on the category. He already swiped his first bag and I think there’s more to come.
- On the other side of the coin, we have post-post-post-post hype prospect Victor Robles. He has been a massive disappointment at the big league level. He has five steals across the last two weeks and is hitting over .300. It is easy to be fooled once again by Robles but anyone with steals is worth looking at for fantasy purposes.
- One of the players we have not yet discussed in terms of allowing SBs is Austin Nola. The Padres backstop has allowed 19 steals with only two caught stealings. The Padres have the Mets and the Rockies next week. This gives a boost to guys like Starling Marte and Francisco Lindor. The Mets do not have too many guys who could be available but keep an eye on Nick Plummer’s playing time. For the Rockies, Yonathan Daza has been getting regular playing time and could be a guy to add off waivers.
- Another team with low caught stealing rates is the Twins. Their three caught stealings are last in the league. Next week they face the Yankees and the Rays. Isiah Kiner-Falefa is one guy who may be available in leagues and could add some steals next week. Aaron Hicks is another guy to watch but he’s struggling mightily so far this season. The Rays have a number of speed guys like Manny Margot, Taylor Walls, Kevin Kiermaier, and more. Keep an eye out on waivers for these guys.