While the goal is usually to find players that are well-rounded and contribute in multiple categories, sometimes you get to a point in the season, where some stats become more of a focus than others. Maybe your batting average is great, but you lack power, so players like Adam Dunn or Dan Uggla become a bit more appealing to you. In numerous cases, stolen bases is that stat. You find yourself in a position to move up and all it would take is just one or two guys who do nothing but steal. It doesn’t matter if they contribute elsewhere and it doesn’t matter if they play every day or not. Just as long as when they are on base, they’ve got a perpetual green light. That’s all you need. Here are two that fit the bill.
Rajai Davis, TOR |OF| Ownership: ESPN – 42.8% Yahoo – 21.0%
People want to dog Davis because of a weak .310 on-base percentage? Go right ahead. More stolen bases for you to accrue in the long run then. If you’re looking to juice yourself in the stolen base category, then Davis is the perfect guy. No, he doesn’t hit for any real power and no, he doesn’t hit for a particularly good average. But what he does do, virtually every time he manages to finagle his way on base, is steal. With five stolen bases in his last nine games, Davis now has 33 steals on the year which is good for second overall in the majors right now, just four below the leader. And his opportunities will continue to grow as Davis has been a regular fixture in the lineup since late July. Neither his batting average nor his on-base percentage are so bad that they would be a detriment to your team in the grand scheme of things and the amount of movement you could probably earn from a guy who swipes you more than just a handful of bases each week would easily make up for it if it did. Check your place in the standings and see. If you can gain a few points in the steals category, then get Davis onto your team.
Juan Pierre, PHI |OF| Ownership: ESPN – 16.6% Yahoo – 18.0%
You never like to wish injury on a player, but if you’re looking for some speed, then Nate Schierholtz hitting the DL is a B-E-A-yootiful thing. Pierre goes back to being an everyday player and his opportunities to add to his already favorable stolen base total (28) are increasing dramatically. And as a bit of a side bonus (something Davis doesn’t have) Pierre is sitting on a .312 average with a healthy .358 on-base percentage. His batting average won’t be a detriment and hitting out of the two-hole regularly should provide him with ample opportunities to steal. Not to mention the fact that it’s just a matter of time before things start clicking again for Chase Utley and Ryan Howard which should result in a boost in runs scored. Granted, that’s not the primary goal here, but it’s certainly a helpful bonus. With Schierholtz out for roughly a month now, Pierre should provide you with a sound boost in speed and help you vault over those that are just ahead of you in the category.