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, and y’all know what that means! I’ll be quick with it here in the introduction, since we’re talking about SPEED in this week’s Category Impact. Here are four guys that can make a difference down the stretch for your fantasy team. The clock is ticking, and these guys aren’t household names, but these could be the guys that you talk about come October and November that helped you get over the hump and win that title! Just a handful of stolen bases WILL make the difference over the next six weeks.
Without further ado….
Tim Locastro , OF ARI – Per Baseball Savant, this guy is the fastest on the list, so he gets top billing. Locastro, a former 13th round pick of the Toronto Blue Jays, has a sprint speed that ranks in the 100th percentile of all Major League Baseball Players. Hmmm. So you’re telling me he’s fast. I’m saying he can fly. Fleet afoot. Track star speed. Burner. Whatever you want to call it, he’s got it. He’s a perfect 11-for-11 on the base paths this season through 68 games, and he’s hitting .252 with a more than respectable .358 on-base percentage. He’s scuffling here in August, as he almost has more stolen bases than hits, but if he can get that average back up and shake out of this slump, the stolen bases are coming back full boar! He should, at the very least, get semi-regular time for the D’Backs the rest of the way, and he could easily give your fantasy squad six or seven more steals by seasons end. Do not be surprised when that happens. In fact, just enjoy that he’s doing it for your team and not someone else’s squad.
Travis Demeritte, OF DET – Detroit certainly has nothing to play for, so why not play the youngsters and make the decision on what they have or don’t have. Demeritte is going to play moving forward, and he has three stolen bases on the year, despite notching just 11 hits and seven walks. However, the kid runs well, and he’s maintained a lofty walk rate though his time in the minors with the Rangers and Braves. Through 12 big league games with the Tigers, he may only be hitting .262, but that 14 percent walk rate is exceptional, and maybe even makes the 32 percent strikeout rate less appalling. Hey, I said maybe, but still, he knows the zone and can work a walk to get on base. From there, it’s up to Detroit to give the kid the green light and let him boot, scoot and boogie. He never racked up the stolen bases in the minors, but he’s one stolen base away from tying the mark he set in 96 games at the Triple-A level this year, and that’s in essentially one-eighth of the games played. Sneaky add right here.
Michael Brosseau, CI TB – If there’s a dark horse option this week among guys that can get a few steals, Brosseau certainly fits the bill. In 2018, he stole 11 bases at Double-A, and before getting called up this season, he was a measly 2-for-5 on stolen base attempts. However, Tampa Bay ranks eighth in stolen bases attempted per game, per Team Rankings, so perhaps they get him moving a bit in between the lines. Let’s hope so! Per Baseball Savant, his sprint speed is above average, coming in at the 82nd percentile, and he makes hard contact a decent amount. His walk rate is very low, so his on-base percentage could fall significantly from his current .324 mark, which could further hit his outlook on potential stolen base production. That, my friends, certainly wouldn’t be ideal. However, he’s cheap, won’t cost you much, and will able to help in other categories as well. Fingers crossed here, as this is a stab in the dark for stolen bases.
Greg Allen , OF CLE – Allen’s ability to run bases is well-documented. He had 21 stolen bases last season, and despite having just three this year, one of them has come within the past week, and he brings some speed to the Cleveland outfield. There’s plenty of bodies that can man the outfield in Cleveland, but he’s a starter through and through, and he has the ability to be cheap speed down the stretch. He’s getting on base nearly one-third of the time over the past week, and since this isn’t minor league baseball, you can’t steal first base…… Yet. He’s not a flashy pick up, and he’s really only viable for a few categories, but his elite sprint speed (92nd percent, Baseball Savant) makes him a threat down the stretch run for fantasy owners. Take your swings now, because the season is dwindling down, and he’s a viable threat to steal a couple bases with the Indians in the thick of things in the American League.
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