With the new rules implemented in Major League Baseball, we saw stolen bases increase substantially in 2023. In fact, last year’s 3,503 stolen bases were the most in the 21st century - blowing away the next highest mark of 3,279 stolen bases in 2011.




When it comes to your fantasy baseball drafts, the big question is how you should best attack stolen bases when building your teams. Looking at the latest fantasy baseball ADP, where are the most profitable pockets for us to target? Is there really such a thing as cheap speed in 2024? Can you afford to not draft stolen bases early, and be able to make it up as the draft progresses? 

I expect 2024 to again be full of stolen bases. But while more players are stealing bases, one thing remains unchanged: The elite contributors of stolen bases aren't cheap

Using Fantasy Alarm's projections and ADP data courtesy of the NFBC, of the 18 players projected to steal 25 or more bases:

  • Average ADP = 61.7
  • Eight are in the Top 25 picks
  • Thirteen are in the Top 100 picks
  • Seventeen are in the Top 175 picks

Think about it this way. If you're in a 10-team league, on average, nearly one-third of the players projected to steal 25+ bases are off the board by the end of the third round. By the end of the 10th round, half of these players have been drafted.

Let's lower the bar slightly. Of the 32 players players projected to steal 20 or more bases:

  • Average ADP = 106.2
  • Nine are in the Top 25 picks
  • Nineteen are in the Top 100 picks
  • Twenty-eight are in the Top 175 picks

As you may expect, as you get deeper into the draft, speed becomes a bit harder to find.

ADP Range (# of players)

Avg. SBs

0-49.99 (35 players)


50-99.9 (20 players)


100-149.99 (32 players)


150-199.99 (33 players)


200-249.99 (27 players)


250-299.99 (25 players)


300-349.99 (13 players)


350-399.99 (11 players)


400-449.99 (11 players)


450-499.99 (17 players)


500-549.99 (24 players)


550-599.99 (18 players)


*Boosted by Tim Anderson

**Boosted by Brenton Doyle and Jake McCarthy

If you are more visual, check out the below graphic, where you see the projected number of stolen bases steadily decrease as you work deeper into the draft.

If you are fortunate enough to have a top-five pick and you get the likes of Ronald Acuna, Corbin Carroll, or Bobby Witt, then you are off to a great start in the speed department. Ultimately, you'll afford yourself some more flexibility. 

However, if you open your draft with the likes of Juan Soto and Matt Olson, you may find yourself having to prioritize the likes of Esteury Ruiz and CJ Abrams to make up for some of that “lost ground.”

If you miss out on the elite speed options early in the draft, you can look to deploy the “strength in numbers” approach. In this strategy, you'd replace someone stealing 30+ bases with a handful of guys that reach double-digits. You essentially just stockpile speed from numerous players.

Here are a few of my favorite players to target if you find yourself needing stolen bases: Consider them late-round stolen base sleepers.

Late-Round Stolen Base Targets Outside The Top 125

Cedric Mullins, Evan Carter, Zack Gelof

Mullins could be the secret sauce to elite stolen base production outside the Top 100. The Baltimore outfielder had 30+ steals in both 2021 and 2022, before injuries limited him to just 116 games in 2023. He had two stints on the IL due to a groin issue, and he had 13 stolen bases prior to the end of May. He had just seven stolen base attempts after that first IL trip.

Gelof went 14-for-16 in stolen base attempts in 69 games for Oakland last year, and he showcased a 91st percentile sprint speed. Gelof’s pace last season over a full 162 games comes out to 33 stolen bases!

Carter was no stranger to running in the minors, and he’s fleet afoot to say the least. If you include the postseason, he went 6-for-6 in stolen base attempts across 40 games with the Rangers, and quick math comes out to 24 stolen bases across 160 games.

Honorable Mentions: Noelvi Marte, Thairo Estrada, Ke’Bryan Hayes, Jarren Duran, James Outman, Nolan Gorman

Late-Round Stolen Base Targets Outside The Top 200

Sal Frelick, Jeremy Pena, Christopher Morel

Call me an optimist, but I believe there to be unrealized potential with Frelick on the base paths. He was a perfect 7-for-7 last season in stolen base attempts. He's been largely successful throughout his time in the minors, too. Milwaukee is going to let guys run this year, and Frelick will be no different. His 162-game pace last year comes out to 20 stolen bases.

Pena needs to be more successful, as he was just 13-for-22 in stolen base attempts last year. But Houston wants to be more aggressive on the bases this year, and Pena has posted a 96th percentile sprint speed in each of the last two seasons.

Morel isn’t going to steal 20 bases this season, but he has enough wheels to make it happen. Plus he’s going to get regular at-bats in the Chicago lineup. If he can make more frequent contact and get on base, he could push for 12-15 SBs this season.

Late-Round Stolen Base Targets Outside The Top 300

Brenton Doyle, Henry Davis, Will Benson

Doyle was 22-for-27 in stolen base attempts last season in just 126 games, and he did so while hitting just .203 with a .250 OBP. It was his first taste of major league pitching, and if he can make a little more contact and strike out a little bit less, he will absolutely wreak havoc on the base paths. Doyle posted a 98th percentile sprint speed last season, and thanks to being an excellent defender, he has quite a long leash on his starting job in centerfield.

Despite Pittsburgh signing Yasmani Grandal, Davis is going to get catcher eligibility relatively early in the 2024 season. He has plus speed for someone operating behind the dish. He logged a 73rd percentile sprint speed last season, and despite being caught stealing five times, eight total attempts in 62 games set a pace we can be interested in at this position. His 162-game pace would see him attempt to steal 21 bases, and that sort of volume from a catvcher is a sneaky way to add some steals to your fantasy squad.

Benson is likely destined for a platoon role, but he’ll play on the larger side of it. He boasts great speed, and went 19-for-22 in stolen base attempts in just 108 games last season. Benson should eclipse the 20 stolen base threshold in 2024.

And there you have it. Some are single-category contributors, some are late-round stolen base sleepers, and some just have sneaky speed. But all of them are targets who shore up your stolen base category on any fantasy baseball squad.