Fantasy Baseball Category Impact: Stolen Bases
Each week, Colby Conway provides in-depth analysis on specific category contributors who may be lingering on your waiver wire.
IT’S FRIDAY OR FRIYAY OR HAPPY HOUR DAY OR CATEGORY IMPACT DAY! That’s right. The latest edition of Category Impact is now LIVE, so grab your preferred beverage and let’s dive in and talk about some players who can help your team’s speed. If you have a bunch of power hitters in your lineup and you’re looking for a few extra stolen bases to pad those power numbers, here are four players that can certainly do the trick. Whether it’s an outfielder in San Diego or a super-utility player in Seattle, there is value to be had, and more likely than not, they are available in your league RIGHT NOW! However, they may not be by the end of this article, so if someone is appealing, PAUSE, hop over to your league and add that player, and then RESUME reading.
Without further ado….
Manuel Margot , OF SDP – Margot very well could be owned in your league, but when I see that he’s owned in less than 10 percent of ESPN fantasy baseball leagues, it’s mindboggling! Not only does he have 15 stolen bases on the year, but he has three in the past week, and he hasn’t been thrown out once all season! This is remarkable because he was poised as a cheap speed source last year, but he proceeded to go 11-for-21 in stolen base attempts, which isn’t very good. This year, he’s a perfect 15-for-15 and has been a plus for the Padres at the dish. Yes, he’s not making hard contact or wowing in any of the other Statcast metrics, but his above-average defense will help keep him in the lineup. Furthermore, check out that 92nd percentile sprint speed, per Baseball Savant. WOWZA!!! Run, Manny, Run!!! The Padres will continue to let him run and he will be a huge contributor to your team’s stolen base numbers the rest of the way.
Yairo Muñoz , MI STL – Over the last week or so, only Atlanta’s Ronald Acuna has more stolen bases than Munoz. His three stolen bases are tied with the player listed above and Washington’s Trea Turner for most stolen bases over the last week. He’s riding a .333 batting average and .364 OBP during that span, which is certainly allowing him the opportunity to run. His sprint speed currently ranks in the 77th percentile, per Baseball Savant, and his 70 percent success rate this season (7-for-10) is nothing to scoff about. The Cardinals may not post outstanding stolen base numbers as a team, but while they are hot right now, they are letting some guys run a bit, particularly Munoz. He just had two stolen bases alone the other night against the Pirates and as long as he stays hot, he could end the season with a stolen base total in the low teens. Sure, it may not seem like a lot, but trust me, it’s valuable. Munoz is currently owned in less than one percent of ESPN fantasy baseball leagues, but get him while he can be an added benefit to your team’s batting average, runs scored and speed.
Dylan Moore , MI/OF SEA – Moore has seven stolen bases on the season, which may not seem like a large total, but when you consider he’s been thrown out seven times as well, 14 stolen base attempts in 70 games isn’t too shabby. I mean, it equates to over 30 attempts over the course of an entire season. He will need to improve upon his efficiency when attempting to steal, but as long as you’re not punished for being thrown out, Moore can be a valuable fantasy asset. Not only is he hardly owned, due to his paltry .205 batting average and .301 on-base percentage, but he has immense versatility and value-added to your lineup construction. In ESPN leagues, you can play Moore at second base, third base, shortstop, or outfield. Yeah, that’s really nice when you need to maneuver your lineup around to maximize your games for the day! Last year in Triple-A he posted a 74 percent success rate when attempting to steal bases, but he’s currently sitting at a 50 percent mark through 70 big league games this year. With someone like Moore, he’s where we need to stand: The effectiveness isn’t great, but at least he’s running, and if he can attempt 14 stolen bases in 70 games with a garbage batting average and OBP, imagine the numbers he could put up if he can get closer to his .259 career mark in the minors…. Rack em up, baby!!
Bo Bichette , SS TOR – Bichette hasn’t played a game at the highest level yet, but he can be a nice boost in terms of stolen bases immediately upon his call up, which apparently isn’t too far away at this point. In Triple-A this season, he’s 14-for-19 (73.6%) on stolen base attempts in just 52 games. He’s nearly attempting a stolen base every other game! That mark likely won’t continue at the next level, but he could still come up and post a quality total down the stretch run of the season. In his minor league career, he has two seasons (2017, 2018) with 20 or more stolen bases, and while the overall efficiency on the bases wasn’t quite there, he’s quick enough that he can adapt and improve when he joins the Blue Jays. His ownership might be pretty low across the board, but if you play in a weekly FAAB system, you might want to scoop up Bichette now, because once he gets the call, his price is only going to double or triple.