As usual, injuries open up playing time opportunities for our waiver wire recs. This edition is for those owners with a need for speed. Even if you don’t, it wouldn’t hurt to add these guys if you have the roster flexibility simply for potential trade bait.
Eric Young Jr. | COL OF | CBS 2% Owned
Young has seemingly been around forever as a stolen base sleeper, but he is no longer, ahem…young. The 27-year old has never even eclipsed the 200 at-bat mark in a season, but over his career he has accumulated 552 at-bats, so we do have an idea of what he could do with every day playing time. The injury to Michael Cuddyer opens up a chance for Young to play every day. With another 12 steals in 125 at-bats this season, he has now stolen a whopping 60 bases at a 79% success rate. Of course, he also has Juan Pierre-esque power, with just two career home runs and a weak .058 ISO. The play here is obviously for his speed, and maybe the hopes of a beneficial batting average.
There is no reason to believe his steals pace of about 1 per 10 at-bats won’t continue. His OBP is decent enough that he should have plenty of opportunities to attempt a theft. There is also some hope that he could sustain a helpful batting average, despite a .254 career mark. He’s a speedy, ground ball hitter who sports a below average infield pop-up rate and hits an acceptable percentage of line drives. He has always managed very high BABIP marks in the minors and the thin air at Coors could help him sustain close to his current .343 mark. With Cuddyer on the shelf until possibly the end of August, Young will have value in deep and potentially even shallower leagues.
Jean Segura | MIL SS | 15% Owned
After Alex Gonzalez went down, the Brewers have shuffled through shortstops and finally landed on prospect Segura, the centerpiece of the trade that sent Zack Greinke to Los Angeles. Segura makes excellent contact, which will make it easier for him to contribute in batting average than Young. He has never posted a BABIP below .312 in any spot where he received a reasonable number of at-bats. Typically, he posted mid-.300 marks, which combined with his contact skills, means he could very well boost your team’s batting average.
He has a bit of pop, but is by no means a source of power. In a full season, he would likely be good for right around 10 homers. That’s fine and dandy though when you combine that output with his speed. He stole a combined 37 bases in the minors this year, for a pro-rated pace of 55 swipes over 600 at-bats. His playing time situation is much more secure than Young’s and since he has more power and there’s a stronger possibility of contributing in batting average, while possessing only a bit less speed, I like him better.