Hey Razzball friends! A happy All-Star break to you and yours! 

I figured the break was a perfect chance to do a mid-season check-in on some of the players we looked at in those pre-season/early-season profiles. Today, we’ll head back to recap those preseason profiles with steals stats and information, along with Grey’s Top 100 for 2nd Half of 2023 Fantasy Baseball rankings (if any of them cracked that Top 100).

Essentially, there are three questions to answer. 

What has this guy done in the first half? Were we accurate in profiling him as a potential source for steals? What should we expect for the second half, if anything, from each player? 

Just a quick caveat before we’re off and running. The profiles were not supposed to be a top 30 or a numbered list of who would steal the most bases this year. It was more of a focus on potential steals targets and what kind of profit we could hope to get from each player. Sure, there are some chalk plays, but some of our choices were driven strictly by speed scores, skill or playing time potential, and lineup position.

So off we go…back into the wayback that was February. Ah, February. The month that is driven by all-encompassing and overwhelming love…for drafting multiple fantasy baseball teams.


Early season profiles

Oneil Cruz – (92nd on Grey’s Top 100 for 2nd Half) – 3 first half SB

Let’s get this one out of the way early. Cruz was in my first preview back on February 15th and I think I speak for a lot of us when I say that the fractured fibula just nine games in was pretty devastating. Cruz was projected for a modest 18 SB by our fantasy master lothario. I think it’s safe to assume that he would be well past 20 now if he had been healthy throughout the first half. The return date from the 60-day IL is August 10th. Still a month away. Ugh. But if Oneil Cruz comes back at 100%, he should blow right past Grey’s projected 8 SB in the 2nd half.

Adalberto Mondesi – (N/R – but mentioned in 98) – 0 first half SB

Oh, Mondesi. I Charlie Brown’ed myself yet again this year and took him on the cheap in the AL Only league. Hopefully, anyone else that risked it for that moldy draft season biscuit has already reclaimed FAAB dollars for him or dropped him early enough to pick up someone like Jorge Mateo or Ji-Hwan Bae to fill in those steals. Heck, even Taylor Walls would have been a saving grace had you dumped Mondesi within those first two weeks. I have zero faith that Mondesi can come back healthy, but he’s the kind of guy that returns September 1st and reels off a dozen SBs to crush someone’s dreams in their Head-to-Head finals.

Esteury Ruiz – (N/R) – 43 first half SB

“Today…I am the greatest…of all time,” is a quote that should remind you of a certain 3rd-person speaking speedster from Oakland’s past. One could argue that the A’s haven’t seen this much lightning since Rickey (apologies to SAGNOF King Rajai Davis, all praise his name).

If you’ve peeked in on this space in the past few months, you undoubtedly know my full appreciation of all that is Esteury Ruiz. I wrote a profile on him last summer when he came up with Milwaukee. I spoke about him as a deeper target on a podcast I did for Podapalooza in February, (Starts at 43:00, unless you want to go back earlier and listen to the Brandon Marsh hype too), and I have him down as my writer’s prediction for the “Sleeper” category.

Not only did Ruiz manage to hit enough to stay in the lineup and hold down the CF job, he led the league with 43 steals before going down with a shoulder injury last week. This guy should steal at least another 40 bags if he comes back healthy this weekend, and should easily shatter Kenny Lofton’s AL rookie steals record (66). He’s got some tough sledding if he wants to take a run at Vince Coleman’s rookie crown (110 steals in 1985), but either way, those wheels are spinning.

Ruiz is the kind of player that can win you your league by taking a category on his own. If you can make up some points in your roto-league by adding him, (and his shoulder looks healthy after this weekend), start putting together trade offers for Esteury.

Gleyber Torres – (98) – 8 first half SB

I wrote up Torres in early April, and assumed he was good for about a dozen steals overall. Grey had him slotted for 8 on the year, and has him down for 7 in the second half, so Torres is making good on 12-15 SB with some decent power numbers. That’s not a bad bit of output from any hitter but at a pretty thin 2B spot, I’d be happy to take it if it’s available.

Tommy Edman – (N/R) – 14 first half SB

Grey had Edman down for 26 total SB in his spring prediction, and the Cardinals’ SS is sitting at 14 SB at the break. I didn’t have much faith in Edman in the preseason, but a lot of that was based around where he was being drafted in the NFBC leagues. Faced with a decision of Edman or Oneil Cruz, (close in ADP), I think you know which way I was leaning.

Since the start of the year, Edman hasn’t done much to show that he was a bad choice for speed. The runs are there (44), and the K% is sitting at 16.4%. If he can come back from the IL stint when eligible on July 15th, (sore wrist), he should have a good chance at breaking 30 SB on the year.

Adolis Garcia – (5) – 6 first half SB

Captain Underrated.

I mentioned this last week, but there was a moment of panic when I took Adolis in the 5th round of my TGFBI draft. I believed in the talent, but it was unnerving to see others push him aside for OF with flashier names or skill sets. A 69/23/75/.261/6 output over half a season? Uh…I don’t feel so bad about that 5th round pick anymore. The final numbers here are going to be pretty sick. Almost as sick as when some people in spring 2024 undoubtedly say that Adolis’ season was a fluke. 


So those are some of the more notable names that we looked at during early draft season. Let’s have a check in on five other names that were supposed to give us some speed and see how these ones line up for the second half, too.

Later look-ins

Brandon Marsh – (N/R) – 5 first half SB

Oops. Wrong photo.

It’s probably weird to love the beard as much as I do, but here we are. I mentioned that Marsh was a favorite of mine in the pre-season, but that he probably wouldn’t blow the doors off and steal 20-30 bases. His OBP was always an issue, but I did predict that if he could get on base more often he should be able to make an honest run at 15-20 steals. His OBP after 81 games is a respectable .349, and he currently has 5 SB in 6 attempts. He’s getting the playing time and certainly doesn’t have to worry about losing ABs thanks to his top tier defense. He’ll have to up the pace to get past a dozen steals, though, so I’ll take the ‘L’ on 15-20 SB.

Christopher Morel – (96) – less first half SB than you think

This is what I wrote about Morel on May 15th – “Looking at Christopher Morel’s scouting grades makes for a pretty promising exercise too. The 50 grade fielding scores should be more than enough to give him an edge for playing time. That 60 grade raw power points to some serious potential boomstick damage. The real kicker for SAGNOF purposes, though, is that sweet above average 60 grade speed.” Anyone want to guess how many SB Morel has in the majors this year? Nope. Too high. He has one. I’d love to say that he should steal more than 10 in the second half, but Grey is probably closer to the mark with an optimistic 5.

Andres Gimenez – (97) – 15 first half SB

Gimenez was another MI that I drafted almost everywhere. I figured he would continue a nice breakout from last season and make good on the promise that had him atop 2B rankings in February. 15 steals through the first half were promising, and I think he can break 30 by the end of the year, health permitting. Since June 12, he’s slashed .264/.356/.448 with 8 SB. Grey has him projected for 12 in the 2nd half.

Jake McCarthy – (N/R) – 20 first half SB

This is another SAGNOF guy that the Razzball writers were collectively in on during draft season. The demotion from April 24 – May 26 was a kick in the stomach, but McCarthy still stole 20 bases in 206 PA through the first half. Assuming he’s up for the rest of the year, he should at the very least double that output and make a good run at 50. Hold if you’ve got him, and check your waiver wire to see if an impatient manager dropped him.

Corbin Carroll – (27) – 26 first half SB

In 308 first half AB, the line was pretty obscene: 63/18/48/.289/26. If he even comes marginally close to repeating the first half, we’re looking at one of the best roto-seasons from an OF in a long time, and a sure-fire first round pick next draft season.

Health is the biggest question mark here, and Grey points out how tricky shoulder injuries can be, too. 15 SB in 201 second half ABs sounds like a good prediction when you bake in any possible missed time. Either way, I’d be looking to secure him for any kind of rebuild or re-tool in a keeper league no matter the format or number of players you can hold. The talent is off the charts, and securing this guy in a keeper league would set you up pretty nicely in early 2024.


Well, this is the shorter version of a mid-season checkpoint which was shortened from a shortened version and still had way too many names to cover! Hopefully, it gives you some ideas of who to look at in trade offers for redraft leagues, or if you are looking to secure a few top keepers for your dynasty league rebuilds.

Just remember, now is the time to assess where you can make up some points in the standings to make a run at the title. Deal from your strengths, reinforce your ratios, and make moves that put your team in the best position to make up valuable category points where you can (if you’re in a roto-league). If you can trade assets to teams that can help take points away from your top competition, that’s a bonus too.

If you’re rebuilding, target some top tier youth and don’t be afraid to ship out multiple proven veterans to secure those 5-tool gems. If you can get both Oneil and Elly De La Cruz for your keeper league roster, you’re in pretty good shape!

As always, drop a comment below or share a question if you have other SB guys you like for the second half. Do you agree with the numbers and forecasting for the players above?

Have a great rest of the All-Star break and I’ll see you next week for more SAGNOF goodness!