Archive for Stolen Bases

Matching Up, Streaming for Stolen Bases

In a comment on the post of a recent ep of “The Sleeper and the Bust,” quinceleather asked if there’s a way to play matchups for stolen bases for players like Rajai Davis and Ben Revere. Presumably, this would be for the purpose of increasing the efficiency of a roster spot by maximizing the rates of thievery of that brand of one-category contributor in games, series or weeks in which he has advantageous matchups and then using a different type of player (power hitter, an all-around player, a fringe regular) in place of them at other times.

I don’t think I’d take that approach for a full season. But for a particular period, especially at this point, when there are only about four and a half weeks remaining in the regular season, it could certainly, conceivably be helpful. You want to make up ground in steals, and you can afford to use this kind of method to do it. Someone else is more qualified than me to study whether it would prove to be advantageous for an entire campaign. Read the rest of this entry »

Cheap Steals on the Waiver Wire

As injuries start to pile up as we get closer and closer to the middle points of the season, specialists that either hit for power or steal some bases become a bit more attractive when looking on the waiver wire to fill holes.
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Buying Jonathan Villar

I had Jonathan Villar late last season in a league I needed some extra speed in (net stolen bases) and he gave me a solid 10 steals over the last third of the season. I had him in a dynasty league as well so I have been monitoring him for some while. The Astros have had a solid core of shortstops in their system with Villar then on the verge of major league play and Carlos Correa and Nolan Fontana further down the minors behind him. Villar got overshadowed due to Correa’s incredible upside, but he is now becoming a more common name among fantasy circles due to his impressive speed.
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The Stolen Base Aging Curve Depicted

Over the last two years, my fellow FanGraphs authors have discussed the effects of aging on player performance and shared various pretty curves. Eno Sarris introduced some hitter aging curves for both batted ball type distribution and isolated power. Then Bill Petti looked at the various plate discipline metrics. The one skill missing thus far has been speed.

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Emilio Bonifacio Takes Off In Kansas City

Your opinions of Dayton Moore and Ned Yost aside, one of the biggest problems with the Kansas City Royals over the last few years has been that glaring hole at second base. While waiting for prospect Johnny Giavotella to develop, they’ve tried to plug the hole with names like Chris Getz and Yuniesky Betancourt and surprisingly (insert sarcastic eye roll here), it just hasn’t worked. Betancourt is usually capable of playing well for about a month, though the 30 days aren’t necessarily right in a row, Getz is incapable of staying healthy, and Johnny G just hasn’t developed past being a mediocre fielder and all-around lousy hitter at the major league level. When the prospect of making a run at the playoffs in 2013 became more than just a pipe dream, the team made a few minor deals to tweak the roster, one of which was bringing in an underachieving Emilio Bonifacio from Toronto to fill a super-utility role. There was nothing terribly exciting about the move at first and the Royals just seemed to be spinning their wheels, but once they finally handed the second base job over to the diminutive speedster full-time, Bonifacio took off and literally ran away with the job. Read the rest of this entry »

Streaming For Offense: Steals

We stream all the time for pitching stats, but now it’s getting into crunch time for every stat on the board, especially in head-to-head leagues. Let’s look at the schedule this week and try to identify some key players in each category. Oh, and if this isn’t enough, check out the Daily Fantasy Strategy column on the site. If you squint right, you can find what you’re looking for in the Daily Five, even if you’re using it for a different reason.

We’ll start with steals because steals might be the best offensive stat to stream for.

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Micah Johnson: Wheels…and What Else?

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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Eric Young Gets New Life in New York

When Eric Young joins the Mets in Atlanta on Wednesday, a lot more is going to change than just his address and uniform. His playing time, the Mets leadoff situation and, of course, his fantasy ownership percentages are all due for an increase thanks to the trade that sent minor league pitcher Collin McHugh west to Colorado in exchange for the speedy outfielder. Perhaps because he is not a marquee name and all Mets eyes were glued to Zack Wheeler’s debut, the deal fell somewhat under the radar, so if you’re in need of a quick burst of speed and he’s available in your league, then a waiver claim is definitely recommended. Read the rest of this entry »

Leonys Martin and Ben Revere: Streaming Speed

As I look through the standings of my various roto leagues, the common thread that ties them all together is the ease at which points can be accrued just by boosting your stolen base totals. In one league, less than 10 stolen bases separate fourth place in the category from ninth place. In two others, 12 steals could make up an eight-point difference. If people love the strategy of streaming pitchers so often, what’s the harm in streaming in a stolen base guy for a week or two? Obviously, those who are left on your wire are, more or less, one-category helpers, but for just a temporary boost, who cares? There’s nothing wrong with a quick fix if you know that’s all you’re looking for. Take your steals and…pardon the pun….run! Here are a pair of guys who fit the bill perfectly… Read the rest of this entry »

Time to Pick Up Jarrod Dyson

When we, the writers of RotoGraphs, were presenting our 10 Bold Predictions, number six on my list was that Jarrod Dyson would lead the American League in stolen bases. I was basing it on his 30 steals in a part-time role last year, that he was opening this season in the bigs as the Royals’ fourth outfielder and that between Lorenzo Cain’s propensity for injury and Jeff Francoeur’s inability to hit, he would see plenty of time in a starting role. Well right now, he’s got six steals which is half of what the current AL leader has, and while Cain has remained surprisingly healthy so far, Francoeur is certainly doing his part to help my cause. If he’s sitting there on your waiver wire, it’s time to pick up Dyson. Read the rest of this entry »