Stolen bases are at a premium going into 2018. With the power surge that has taken over Major League Baseball, stolen bases have fallen by the wayside. That does not mean there aren’t values in the late rounds, so here are some late round players that can help round out the steal category for your team. Keep in mind that this is early in the offseason and these players could rise given a good Spring Training,
- Bradley Zimmer went undrafted in a 12 team mock that I conducted over a week ago, but he should have been drafted. His undrafted status probably had more to do with the current rankings than his play in 2017, but he still deserves some attention. Zimmer did not light up the radar when it came to most stats. He had a pedestrian .241 average with a .385 slugging. Those are not numbers that make you want to jump out and draft this guy. The positive? He stole 18 bases in 101 games, putting him on pace for 28 steals in 162 games. The less than stellar category numbers only help push down his draft appeal, making him a perfect candidate in the late rounds of your draft.
- Ozzie Albies had more than just a cup of coffee with the Atlanta Braves this year and made the most of it. Albies hit .286 with 6 bombs, 5 triples, and 8 steals while only being caught once. That translates to just over 23 steals in a full season. Between Triple-A and the Major Leagues, he stole 29 bags while being caught 3 times.If he can keep up that kind of ratio, he could be a very valuable 2B this upcoming season.
- Yoan Moncada’s Major League debut did not work out as planned, as he only batted .231 in 54 games for the White Sox. This works out to a fantasy owner’s advantage, however, as he will not be as hyped going into the 2018 season due to recency bias. Moncada is only one year removed from stealing 45 bags in the Red Sox’s minor league system. He did not flash the speed this year, but a full season from Moncada could see 30+ stolen bases.
- Gregory Polanco was hampered by hamstring issues almost all of 2017, hindering his ability to finally breakout. He stole only 8 bags in 2017 after stealing 17 in 2016 and 27 in 2015. If he stays healthy, Polanco could get back into the 20+ range in stolen bases and will be at a discount due to his lackluster 2017. Look for a possible breakout season from the Pirate’s outfielder. He could possibly be drafted high due to his pedigree, but even then, an injury discount should give some leeway.
- Michael Taylor couldn’t single-handedly push the Nationals into the NLCS, but he did have a great 2017. He hit 19 home runs while swiping 17 bags and could be a 20/20 threat going into 2018. Taylor is entering his prime years, going into his age 27 season in 2018. With a killer Washington Lineup for at least one more year, count on Taylor contributing a little in every category this upcoming year.
Steals may be at a premium in 2018, but these are only just 5 of the guys you can grab late in your drafts to fill out that SB requirement.
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