WIth so many traditional fantasy leagues playing with daily transactions, not to mention DFS, having a better idea when a player may rack up a steal or two can render a nice edge. As such, today's category impact will focus on stolen bases.

Instead of focusing on some players (and teams) that appear to be doing more running (hello, Desmond Jennings), we're going to attack the topic from the opposition point-of-view, categorizing pitchers and catchers in accordance to their susceptibility to allow base runners to snag an extra bag.

Data from the past five seasons was analayzed, using stolen base success rate as the measuring stick. It's widely accepted that a success rate of 75 percent is the break even point where the added potential of scoring a run with a successful steal balances the damage done by an unsuccessful attempt. The league average has been a few ticks below 75 percent.

While the assignment of categories was based on the numbers of the previous five seasons, some subjectivity was interjected when it seemed necessary. That is, there was no hard-and-fast cutoff delineating the categories. Similarly, when you actually decide what players to use to pick up a few steals, treat each case on an indivdual basis and look at all the factors. The end result is not a black-and-white matrix. You'll need to occasionally inject some subjectivity of your own.


The percentage of runners thrown out from 2010-2014 was determined for every catcher appearing the Majors so far this season. Here are the categorical breakdowns, keeping in mind the decision isn't whether to have Billy Hamilton active but rather to use a decent base stealer or even which one of a couple of options to employ for that matchup.

  • GROUP I: The cannons - No thanks, stay on reserve
  • GROUP II: Around average - Only if the starting pitcher is easy to run on
  • GROUP III: The newbies - Yes, unless the starting pitcher is pretty good at controlling the running game
  • IV: The noodle-arms - Yes, unless the starting pitcher is superb at preventing steals and even then it's viable
Buster PoseyA.J. EllisCameron RuppBrett Hayes
Caleb JosephA.J. PierzynskiChristian BethancourtCarlos Corporan
Chris HerrmannAlex AvilaJ.T. RealmutoDerek Norris
David RossAndrew SusacJames McCannFrancisco Cervelli
Miguel MonteroAnthony ReckerJesus SucreHank Conger
Rene RiveraBobby WilsonJordan PachecoJarrod Saltalamacchia
Roberto PerezBrayan PenaJR MurphyJose Lobaton
Russell MartinBrian McCannKevin PlaweckiKurt Suzuki
Ryan HaniganCarlos RuizSandy LeonMichael McKenry
Yadier MolinaChris IannettaTucker BarnhartMike Zunino
Yan GomesChris StewartTuffy GosewischRobinson Chirinos
 Devin Mesoraco Ryan Lavarnway
 Dioner Navarro Tony Sanchez
 Drew Butera Travis d'Arnaud
 Erik Kratz Wil Nieves
 Geovany Soto Yasmani Grandal
 Gerald Laird  
 Hector Sanchez  
 Jason Castro  
 Jeff Mathis  
 Jonathan Lucroy  
 Josh Phegley  
 Martin Maldonado  
 Nick Hundley  
 Salvador Perez  
 Stephen Vogt  
 Tyler Flowers  
 Welington Castillo  
 Wilson Ramos  


Now let's look at the pitchers. The same criteria was used to categorize every starting pitcher. Here's how to think about the groups.

  • GROUP A: Red light district - No thanks, stay on reserve
  • GROUP B: Above average - Only if the catcher is poor
  • GROUP C: The newbies - Not enough data, rely on the catcher's tendency
  • GROUP D: Below average - Yes unless the catcher is elite
  • GROUP E: Poor - Heck, even I'd steal
Adam WainwrightBartolo ColonAaron SanchezAaron HarangA.J. Burnett
Alex WoodBud NorrisAdam WarrenAndrew CashnerAnibal Sanchez
Alfredo SimonC.J. WilsonAnthony DeSclafaniBrad PeacockJake Arrieta
Carlos MartinezCC SabathiaAnthony RanaudoBrandon McCarthyJohn Lackey
Chris TillmanChris SaleArchie BradleyBrandon MorrowRoberto Hernandez
Clayton KershawClay BuchholzAsher WojciechowskiChris ArcherScott Feldman
Corey KluberColby LewisBrett AndersonCole HamelsTim Lincecum
David PhelpsCollin McHughCarlos CarrascoDan Haren 
Doug FisterDallas KeuchelCasey SadlerDavid Buchanan 
Hector SantiagoDanny DuffyChase AndersonDavid Huff 
Hisashi IwakumaDavid PriceChris HestonDillon Gee 
Jeff LockeDerek HollandChristian BergmanDrew Hutchison 
Johnny CuetoGio GonzalezDaniel NorrisEdinson Volquez 
Josh CollmenterHector NoesiDanny SalazarErasmo Ramirez 
Kyle LohseHenderson AlvarezDrew PomeranzEric Stults 
Lance LynnIan KennedyDrew RucinskiFelix Hernandez 
Madison BumgarnerJake OdorizziEddie ButlerFrancisco Liriano 
Mark BuehrleJake PeavyJames PaxtonGarrett Richards 
Max ScherzerJames ShieldsJesse HahnGerrit Cole 
Michael PinedaJarred CosartJimmy NelsonHomer Bailey 
Vance WorleyJoe KellyKendall GravemanJ.A. Happ 
Wade MileyJohn DanksKyle LobsteinJacob deGrom 
Zack GreinkeJon NieseMatt AndrieseJason Hammel 
 Jordan ZimmermannMatt HarveyJason Marquis 
 Jose QuintanaMichael WachaJason Vargas 
 Kyle GibsonMike FiersJeff Samardzija 
 Kyle HendricksNate KarnsJered Weaver 
 Kyle KendrickNick MartinezJeremy Guthrie 
 Matt GarzaRaisel IglesiasJeremy Hellickson 
 Miguel GonzalezRoss DetwilerJerome Williams 
 Nathan EovaldiRubby de la RosaJon Lester 
 R.A. DickeySean O'SullivanJordan Lyles 
 Ryan VogelsongSteve GeltzJorge de la Rosa 
 Scott KazmirTaijuan WalkerJulio Teheran 
 Shane GreeneTrevor MayJustin Masterson 
 Shelby MillerTyler MatzekMasahiro Tanaka 
 Sonny Gray Mat Latos 
 Tom Koehler Matt Shoemaker 
 Tyson Ross Mike Leake 
 Yordano Ventura Mike Pelfrey 
 Yovani Gallardo Odrisamer Despaigne 
   Phil Hughes 
   Rick Porcello 
   Ricky Nolasco 
   Stephen Strasburg 
   T.J. House 
   Tim Hudson 
   Tommy Milone 
   Travis Wood 
   Trevor Bauer 
   Trevor Cahill 
   Ubaldo Jimenez 
   Wei-Yin Chen 
   Wily Peralta 
   Zach McAllister 

Next week we'll take a look at some candidates to procure some pilfers using the above tables to help decide. If you have a question about a possible option before that, please feel free to post in the comments and I'll pop back and offer my opinion.