Listen, I’m a realist when it comes to numbers. I understand that trends are written in there somewhere and the analytic guys use their Little Orphan Annie decoder rings to decipher everything. I, my friends, am not that guy. I look at something and then relay the message to you. I am a sharer, an over excessive high-fiver, and extremely (and most importantly) excessively inappropriate in public. I have looked at the numbers and I am telling you that the stolen base is the new punt stat. Everyone always talks about punting stats from time-to-time in their ramblings of delusion, but I am being serious. The downward trend in baseball is written in the stats. I will even slap a handy chart in this post to clarify my thinking, (the chart is through the end of May for all other years but this), but the trend is going down the way of the SAGNOF drain. I wish it weren’t true, because I loved watching the go-go 80’s and guys like Vince Coleman make a living being this generations, chuckle… Billy Hamilton. Those days are gone. Do we even remember the last guy who stole 100? 90? or even 80 bases in a year? The answers are: 1987, 1988, and 1988 again. The last significant stolen base total was when Jose Reyes was single and not suspended in 2007 with 78 swipes. Like I said, I hate it to be true, but the days of amassing a significant total from one player, and having that player be a fantasy asset are dead and gone. Running just doesn’t happen as frequently… This is based on delivery times to plate, video technology, and basically the game evolving. So I am sorry that this week’s report is a sad trombone of fantasy reality, which is an oxymoron, but I just wanted people to realize the decline in stat that they chase on a weekly basis.
|Year||Sb’s thru May||Season Total|
|2016||646||646 (on pace 2584)|
So for those of you that don’t believe me or believe that the numbers lie, I have looked ahead at the upcoming week and who plays what and where, and pulled out some gems for the deep end of the steals market…
Leonys Martin – The power stroke is nice, as his his availability, 85% owned in Yahoo and an even better 6% in ESPN. He is hitting at a .467 clip over the last week but with zero swipes. With Ketel Marte heading for the DL, I think the onus will be more on him to move over through his feet. He faces an Oakland team that has allowed the fourth highest amount of stolen base opportunities, and Minnesota which is last in BAA, and bottom three in WHIP and runs allowed per game.
Chase d’Arnaud – Not the catcher, but the middle infielder. Has been getting regular playing time for the going nowhere Bravos, and the thing that makes him shine in ole’ Smokey’s eyes is that he is getting on base at .456 clip. Unsustainable, heck no, but he has regular at-bats for the time being. He gets a Milwaukee team that has let up 31 steals, good for fourth worse and is especially a sneaky play for Tuesday versus Jimmy Nelson.
Brandon Guyer – While the sexier name may be Desmond Jennings, it really isn’t. Dez runs like a wobbly shopping cart with a circular object stuck in his wheel. Guyer is the more top of the order bat, where as Jennings hits well down the line-up. Granted, the Rays have honed their inner power bug and run very sporadically. Guyer has more playing time now that Keirmaier is on the DL so don’t expect much, but the gathered stats like runs and OBP are nice for a guy owned in less then 1% universally.