Draft season is getting into full swing. Unless things break right for you early you’re likely to find your team a little light in the steals department. Take a stab at some of these cheaper players to boost your speed. And be sure to subscribe to Rudy’s tools in season for all your streaming needs!

The 2020 Razzball Commenter Leagues are now open! Free to join!

Usual Suspects

  • Jarrod Dyson – Dyson probably has the most guaranteed playing time coming into the season. Injuries tend to cut into his ABs but when he’s in the lineup he’s running.
  • Delino DeShields Jr. – We’ve all been there with Delino. He’s cheap and has 50 steal speed if he could only play everyday and avoid the litany of injuries that tend to derail his season.
  • Dee Gordon – I’m actually interested in Gordon as a speed dart. He’s been around a while but is a seemingly young 31. The wheels aren’t what they used to be and will likely degrade as the season goes. Still, there’s plenty of scenarios that see him leading off in Seattle.

Rooks

  • Nick Madrigal – Rudy’s tools love them some Madrigal. His approach is geared around getting on base to use his legs. If the White Sox don’t work out an extension with him it’s likely he’ll be up in May.
  • Kyle Tucker – The prospect that the Astros love to hate. Maybe he wasn’t cool with the dugouts rendition of Stomp. I know we’ve said this before but how long can Josh Reddick hold off a hitter as good as Tucker?
  • Trent Grisham – The Padres acquired Grisham last year and spent the off-season clearing out their outfield. He’s going to get some leash as a power/speed combo.

Freebies

  • Victor Reyes – Reyes could be a steal (see what I did there) if he can duplicate his 2019 batting average. It’s not like PT is hard to come by in Detroit.
  • Jake Fraley – After a lukewarm 2019 debut the speed-centric prospect is dirt cheap this draft season. That’s great for you and me. He’s already locked into early playing time and should make some progression.
  • Roman Quinn – The Phillie is one of my favorite in-season speed plays. He gets a run at some point every year and burns brief but bright. It’s nice that he can play second base, as well.

PT Hurdles

  • Jose Peraza – The signing of Kevin Pillar poured some water on Peraza but he should still work his way into regular ABs. The team would also like to move Jackie Bradley Jr.,opening up CF for him.
  • Mauricio Dubon – He’s scheduled to start the year as a utility man. Look at that lineup, though. I’ll wait. Gross, right? He’s going to be a regular before long.
  • Jon Berti – Berti is worth owning for the chance to play the Mets alone.

Power With A Side Of Steals

  • Ryan Braun – Another year, another 20/10 season is likely on top.
  • Sam Hilliard – Big Sam isn’t locked into a role yet and they are the Rockies and all. They did promote him last season and he hit.
  • Mike Tauchman – Between Stanton, Judge, and Gardner is there any doubt Tauchman gets plenty of ABs?
 
  1. Harley Earl says:
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    Agree with most of your picks here, think you’re on the money minus the Dee Gordon pick to which I completely disagree.

    I had Gordon in a dynasty league since he was with the Dodgers and I finally cut him loose last season because he’s an empty category player and simply not worth a roster spot. He is aging poorly. He gets hurt every year now, always something with his legs or knees. He rarely leads off any more, often batting 8th or 9th.

    If you bothered to look up his at-bats, you’d realize he batted 178 times in the #9 spot alone last year and that 309 of his total at-bats were either in the #7, #8 or #9 hole. He had all of 66 at-bats as a leadoff hitter. The Mariners have obviously moved on from him as a leadoff guy as they are in full-fledged rebuild mode.

    Gordon’s last big steal year was 2017 when he stole 60, but the year before that he only stole 30. When you consider how empty his other categories are as far as HR, Runs, RBIs and On-Base pct or even average, Gordon isn’t worth a roster spot. There are simply better options with more upside that won’t clog up your roster. Trust me, I had Gordon for 6 years, so I know him well. It’s past time to put that cow out to pasture.

    • Jolt In Flow says:
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      HE, I’m not sure of your point. If Dee Gordon gets 200 ABs, 300 ABs, or 500 ABs in a year, where he gets then from shouldn’t matter. Not when all you’re talking about is speed. And that’s all this exercise was about. This isn’t about runs or RBIs.

      A quick look at his speed value.

      Over his last 5 years, he’s had 750 ABs. That equates to 150 ABs this year.

      Over that time, he’s had 80 2b, 37 3b, and 14 hr, for a total of 131 multi-base hits over that time. That averages to 26 multi-base hits per year.

      Let’s take that away from the 150 ABs we assume he’ll get and we’re left with Dee Gordon getting 124 singles this year. He also averaged 19 BBs over the last 5 years. So that leaves us with a total of (124+19) 143 trips to first base this year.

      Even using a low-end SB conversion rate of 15% based on 143 trips to first base this year, you can expect 21 SBs from Dee this year. And that’s minimum, in my estimation, with a sneaky-good chance for more.

      21 SBs last year would have put Dee in the 19th spot overall for SBs. That’s not bad at all and a great source of speed for anyone that needs it.

      • Harley Earl says:
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        My point is he’s not worth a roster spot. There are better options, even late. Pass.

    • Roto-Wan

      Roto-Wan says:
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      I’m not suggesting you fight anyone for him. But it’s all priced in at the going rate. And what’s Seattle going to do, let Mallex Smith lead off with a .300 OBP all year? (Not that Gordon’s is any better) One of the young guys probably takes over but they might let Gordon keep the seat warm.

      • Harley Earl says:
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        To each his own. I wouldn’t touch him with your lightsaber, though. He’s a big zero across the board. Maybe you can pick up Ryan Braun and Albert Pujols and have an old man’s dynasty team reunion.

  2. Ramon says:
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    Hey I am starting a league with some friends and we want at least 12 or 14 categories. Right now we have
    R,RBI,SB,HR,AVG, BB,OPS, K and
    IP,W,L,SV,HLDS,Ks,ERA,WHIP

    what do u think? What should we change or add? I feel these categories are not the best. Please help

    • packers2018 says:
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      Ramon, I’m going to guess this is a points league. If it’s roto my suggestions may still help you out.
      For bats, R, RBI, SB, HR, AVG, OPS.
      For Pitchers, IP, Net wins, SV&Holds, K’s, ERA, Whip.

      Gives you 6 each for 12 cats.

      • Roto-Wan

        Roto-Wan says:
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        Agree with these. Wins plus quality starts if your platform supports it, too.

  3. thorbs says:
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    Re: Dubon – I’ve read a few times that his knee surgery sapped his speed and he wasn’t running much at all since. Have you seen/read/heard anything different, like maybe his knee just needed time to recover?

    • Roto-Wan

      Roto-Wan says:
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      His steals trajectory definitely hit a speed bump with the knee in 2018. It’s hard to say how much is the knee and how much is the level. I think 15-20 is a safe projection for him depending on which side of 500 the ABs fall.

  4. Morris Lester says:
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    Do you think Kolten “Wonger” Wong is good for 25 steals if he bats lead-off for the Cardinals?

    • Roto-Wan

      Roto-Wan says:
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      It’s a risk. Guy hasn’t shown a repeatable skill yet.

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