Entering the 2013 season, it was seemingly a foregone conclusion that Billy Hamilton would lead the minors in steals for a third straight season, assuming he was healthy and was not promoted to the big leagues. After all, Hamilton swiped 27 more bags than any other minor leaguer in 2011 and 64 (!) more than the second-place finisher (Delino Deshields Jr., who himself had 101) last year.
Hamilton has indeed stayed healthy and played the entire year in the minors, but his stolen base throne has surprisingly been usurped; his still-whopping 42 steals in 67 games ranks third in the minors (fourth if you count the Mexican League), a full dozen behind White Sox second base prospect Micah Johnson, who has blazed his way to 54 thefts in 66 contests.
Anybody who produces that sort of stolen base volume will pique the interest of deep keeper fantasy owners, especially when the player in question is a middle infielder with a robust .339/.422/.525 triple-slash. But how much of Johnson’s production is true substance?
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