Draft season is suddenly reaching its climax, not unlike the titular Rabbit does in women that aren’t his wife in Rabbit, Run. He’s not the rabbit we’re interested in, however. We’re after some free steals late in drafts because Steals Ain’t Got No Face. Let me type that again in all caps so you’ll know I’m shouting. STEALS AIN’T GOT NO FACE. Don’t overpay for Mallex Smith when you could get Dee Gordon much later. Either could be the leadoff hitter for Seattle. Chasing speed is a dangerous game. I prefer building it into my entire roster little by little but at some point, you need someone to lead the charge in the steals category. Consider these speedsters as speculative plays late in your drafts…
- Delino DeShields – last year’s steals bust could be this year’s steals steal. Has anything changed for DeShields? The Rangers are still a defunct team. He’s still the best option in center. Let’s not forget he fractured his hand last April and was snakebit the rest of the year with finger, head, and knee issues. It would be overly optimistic to expect zero bad injury luck with his style of play. Still, if it’s just a little better than last year he’s a potential value.
- Greg Allen – The Cleveland lineup is a mess currently. Allen can easily crack it. Jake Bauers probably heads to first when the latest Hanley Ramirez experiment ends. Tyler Naquin isn’t an everyday player either. Bradley Zimmer’s lurking to return from last season’s injury, though I don’t see him being rushed.
- Jarrod Dyson – Two-thirds of the Diamondbacks starting lineup is almost a lock to miss time with injury. They have a ton of position flexibility built in, but any way you slice it Dyson moves into center with other guys shifting around. Adam Jones signing with Arizona hurts his chances a bit. I’m not sure Jones is with the team come August. He may not be as eager to block a trade as a new face.
- Terrance Gore – if you take a look at the Steamer600 leaderboard, where every player is projected for 600 PAs, Gore is atop the steals category. There would need to be some cataclysmic events for Gore to see anywhere near that many PAs but it demonstrates his elite speed. The Royals should want to run aggressively again and Gore could see his share of late at-bats and pinch running.
- Michael A. Taylor – Adam Eaton is no ironman. If he misses time Taylor is the next man up. Even prior to that Taylor should be giving him occasional days off. Taylor was a league leader in steals early on last year when he had playing time and a green light.