Need for Speed: Stolen Base Options to Stream (4/27-5/2)

Digging deep for stolen bases off your wire based on match ups

Welcome back. It feels good to start scouring the wire for stolen base possibilities again. The 2020 season was a different beast on many fronts and made making up ground in various counting categories even more attainable than ever with the shortened season.

Now, with a 162-game schedule before us, we have to work that much harder to claw and scrape our way in each category throughout the six-month schedule. If you work at it as diligently in April as you may in September you can put yourself in a good spot to not sweat the final few weeks.

Throughout draft season you hear it from every angle: You have to prioritize stolen bases early. Easier said than done though right? I’m here to tell you there’s still hope. You either have too much speed or not enough. This series will be focused on the latter.

If there’s a category to make up ground in, it’ll typically be stolen bases. Each week I’ll be providing a couple of options that may be sitting on your wire that have a good shot at getting you at least one more bag. I’m going for the deep cuts and focusing only on players owned in less than 20% of leagues, per Yahoo, which typically focus on leagues with 12 teams.

This list will change week to week, but you’ll continue to see a general theme. The picks will be focused not just on the speedsters that are generally undrafted, but mostly on sneaky pickups that can take advantage of their matchups, may it be with an offense-first catcher or a starting pitcher with a history of focusing solely on what’s in front of them and ignoring the baserunners. Before we move on to this week’s recommendations, let’s see how last week’s speedsters faired.


Last Week’s Results


Tim Locastro (ARI) – 0 SB
Less than an hour after last week’s article posted Locastro was not only caught stealing for the first time in his career, but to add injury to insult he also broke his finger in the process, ultimately landing him on the IL. Obviously with that move Locastro was not able to add to his stolen base totals this past week.

Robbie Grossman (DET) – 0 SB
No bags through Friday’s game, but he did pop a homer so that’s worth something right?

Niko Goodrum (DET) – 1 SB
That a’boy Niko. Goodrum stole a base in Friday’s match up with Mike Minor on the bump and Salvador Perez behind the plate. It was Niko’s first stolen base of the season and I expect him to make this list a few more times this year as his roster % still sits in the single digits on Yahoo!, despite the playing time and positional flexibility he brings.

Nick Ahmed (ARI), Kyle Isbel (KC), Anderson Tejada (TEX) – 0 SB combined
With Kyle Isbel seeing spotty playing time before ultimately being demoted on Thursday and Anderson Tejada being demoted before the week even started it was all up to Nick Ahmed to garner a point for the honorable mentions. Narrator: He didn’t.

One other thing to consider here is that these matchups are always subject to change, as most things are, and most of these suggestions are best served in a league with daily moves. Weekly adds can still be considered in a pretty deep league, but know that this is only focused on the possibility of stealing bases, even at the expense of other categories. So, after that disclaimer, let’s see who’s poised to run over the next week who may be available in your league:


Myles Straw, Houston Astros


Myles Straw was all the rage toward the end of draft season as it appeared he was being groomed to lead off for the Astros. That ultimately did not come to pass, as Straw has almost exclusively batted in the bottom third of the line up so far this season. But Straw doesn’t necessarily get his speed from his spot in the line up, that’s with him regardless as shown by his 97th percentile sprint speed and 3rd overall ranked home to first speed of 4.18 seconds. The man is fast and already has four stolen bases on the season to show for it. The Astros host the Mariners to start the week and travel to Tampa Bay to end it, giving them a nice seven game stretch, giving plenty of opportunity for Straw to add to his stolen base tally. Seattle’s Luis Torrens has only thrown out one would be base stealers in nine attempts while Mike Zunino has allowed all 11 attempts to go unpunished under his watch. These are matchups Straw can take advantage of throughout the week.


Adolis Garcia, Texas Rangers


I wanted to recommend Leodys Taveras here, but as he’s only started three of the last seven it’s a difficult ask based on playing time concerns, even with the seven game slate for the Rangers. One of the main reasons for Taveras’ lack of playing time, besides his overall poor performance at the plate, is the emergence of Adolis Garcia who was promoted by the Rangers earlier this month. Garcia is pummeling the ball out of the gate and though he has yet to steal a base, he’s made two attempts in the early going, showing intent, which is something the Rangers have shown plenty of in recent years. Garcia recorded double digit stolen bases in each of his minor league seasons while with the Cardinals’ organization and could continue the trend now that he’s with a team that likes to run. Pair that with with match ups with Kurt Suzuki of the Angels and Christian Vazquez of the Red Sox, who are a combined 13-2 allowing stolen bases on the season, and you have a nice addition to your line up. The way Garcia is swinging the bat in the early going, he’s not going to hurt you in other categories as well.


Nicky Lopez, Kansas City Royals


With the recent demotion of Kyle Isbel and no set time table for Aldeberto Mondesi to return, Nicky Lopez is getting a nice long run playing every day for the Royals. Lopez is making the most of it as well, Albeit it at the bottom of the lineup, as he tried to show the Royals he can hold his own in Kansas City even after Mondesi returns. Lopez collected hits in five straight games before his most recent 0-6 skid, collecting a stolen base along the way. Speed shouldn’t be in question here as Lopez’s sprint speed sits in the 86th percentile this year and his 4.22 second home to first speed ranks him 7th overall in baseball thus far. The Royals are a team that run consistently, especially with their faster players. The current road trip will start with Wilson Ramos in Detroit before heading to Pittsburgh to face Jacob Stalling and then Mitch Garver in Minnesotta. So far the three back stops have only stopped 5 of the 30 would be base stealers, with Stallings leading the league with 13 stolen bases allowed and Ramos and Garver tied at six a piece. You can do worse than Lopez as a fill in at the keystone this week.


Honorable Mentions


Taylor Trammell (SEA) vs Kurt Suzuki (C, LAA)
Hunter Dozier (KC) vs Jacob Stallings (C, PIT) and Mitch Garver (C, MIN)
Jon Berti (MIA)  vs Omar Narváez (C, MIL)

Photo by John Cordes/Icon Sportswire | Adapted by Michael Packard (@designsbypack on Twitter & IG)

Adam Howe

Adam resides in Indianapolis after spending the better part of a decade in Oakland, CA and growing up in Massachusetts. He co-hosts the On The Wire podcast with Kevin Hasting, analyzing your weekly FAAB options before your bid deadlines every Sunday.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Account / Login