Welcome back FA Nation! Get ready for this week’s edition of Category Impact! If you’re new to the site or just forget how this article works since last week, let me offer a quick refresher.

Category Impact will offer up anywhere from four to six players that can help you out in a certain category, whether it is stolen bases, home runs, or strikeouts. Some weeks, there will be an added focus on a specific categories, while others will be just players that you will want to pick up, but there will be in-depth analysis detailing exactly what category, or categories, a certain player will be of added benefit.

This week’s category is…. SPEED!

Alen Hanson , 2B/OF SFG – Hanson has always been a burner, dating back to his days in the Pittsburgh farm system. He didn’t impress much during his time at the highest level with the Pirates, but near the end of last season, he was solid with the White Sox, hitting four home runs and stealing nine bases in 69 games. However, a .231 batting average and .276 on-base percentage isn’t exciting.

However, he was raking at the Triple-A level with the Giants to begin the year and was rewarded with a promotion to the big league squad. He’s parlayed that into a rather productive showing. Through his first handful of games, he’s stolen two bases, hit two home runs and has a respectable slash line (.263/.293/.526). Looking at his minor league track record, he can be a guy with a floor of 20-25 stolen bases, assuming he can get on base enough. At the minor league level, across 162 games, he would steal 46 bases per season. That number drops to 17 at the highest level, but that number is indicative of struggles during his time with Pittsburgh and Chicago.

José Peraza , 2B/SS CIN – He’s owned in a fair amount of leagues, but he may have been dropped in your league given hiss recent slide. He hasn’t stolen a base in nearly a week and a half, and while it may not have been the most fantasy productive, don’t forget that he hit .311 during the month of April. He’s still hitting above .280 on the season and he’s a perfect 5-for-5 on the basepaths this season. He didn’t quite live up to expectations last season, but being successful in fantasy is all about having an open mind and not giving up entirely on someone after a down year. In fact, at just 24 years old, a .259 average with 23 steals in 143 games isn’t a bad floor for a middle infielder. He should be able to build upon the .297 on-base percentage last year, and in fact, his mark this season is improved.

He very well could be owned in your league, but if not, there’s reason to believe that he’ll improve across the board from last season. His Spd metric is comparable to last year, but he’s making more hard contact, less soft contact and striking out less. He’ll continue to spend the majority of his time near the top of the Cincinnati lineup, which should translate to more stolen base attempts for the young middle infielder.

Jonathan Villar , 2B MIL – Villar’s playing time is in a bit of jeopardy, despite improving upon last year’s miserable season. He’s hitting .286 with a .311 on-base percentage through his first 30+ games of the 2018 campaign, not to mention being 6-for-7 on stolen base attempts. It’s crazy to think that just two years ago, Villar hit .285 with 19 home runs and 62 (!!) stolen bases. There were health problems last season, which could explain the down 2017 campaign. He’s sat for a few straight games now, but he’s come in off the bench, so is he dealing with a nagging injury or is he in the dog house?

Regardless, his ownership is bound to continue slipping, but playing time should get back to normal in the coming days or weeks. Eric Sogard isn’t the answer, nor is Nick Franklin or Hernán Pérez . He’s been better than he was last season, and he carries the most upside among the potential Brewers to man the keystone position.

Adam Engel , OF CHW – Engel might not be an offensive threat, but everyone surely takes note when he reaches base. He’s 5-for-6 on the bases this season and if you take his numbers through his first 125+ games as a pro, he would end with a total of about 17 stolen bases a season. If he were able to play a full season, he could push for a floor of 17-20 steals with a ceiling of 28+. Much like a speedster in Cincinnati, getting on base tends to be the problem for the young outfielder. Since the start of last season, he’s hitting .167 with a .237 on-base percentage with the White Sox. Yikes. He’ll need to improve upon those numbers to keep his stolen base floor high. Remember, you can’t run if you don’t get on base.

Lastly, as mentioned on the Fantasy Baseball Podcast this week, Engel is elite in one statistic. Over at Baseball Savant, they display Statcast’s foot speed metric, which is defined as “feet per second in a player’s fastest one-second window.” An elite mark is 30 ft/sec. Well, Engel’s 30.1 ft/sec is tied with Billy Hamilton and trails only Minnesota’s Byron Buxton (30.5 ft/sec) and Texas’ Delino DeShields (30.1 ft/sec). He can flat out fly, he just needs to get on base with more regularity.