Across Major League Baseball, stolen bases are on a rapid decline. Therefore, make sure you spread out the risk and draft as many stolen base contributors as possible. The key is to consistently draft players that can contribute 5-10 steals throughout your draft. Here are seven late-round speed contributors that are being drafted post-375 Average Draft Position (ADP) who will help your team chip away at the steals category. These players will be especially valuable in Draft and Hold leagues. For this article, ADP derives from NFBC drafts: 2/1/2022-2/25/2022
2011: MLB attempted 4540 steals league-wide
2021: MLB attempted 2924 steals league-wide
A 35.6% decline in attempts over the past decade & has declined every full season since 2015
— Jason Collette (@jasoncollette) February 21, 2022
Late-Round Speed Contributors: Post-375 ADP
Jorge Alfaro – San Diego Padres C/OF (ADP: 393.61)
Jorge Alfaro is now on the San Diego Padres. He is surrounded by a strong lineup and the team loves to run as they ranked second in steals in 2021. For 2022, ATC projects Christian Vasquez, who has an ADP of 208.17, to hit 10 home runs with six stolen bases. Alfaro is also projected for 10 home runs and six stolen bases but at a relatively huge discount. Alfaro crushes the ball and was once an elite prospect. With the DH finally in the NL, Alfaro could see the most at-bats of his career in 2022.
Miguel Rojas – Miami Marlins SS (ADP: 410.46)
In 2021, the 33-year-old veteran stole 13 bases while hitting 9 home runs with a .262 average. Rojas will see a lot of playing time because of his elite defense and he appears to be the Marlins leadoff hitter. The Marlins tied for fourth overall in steals last year so we know they are not afraid of the green light. He will give your team a boost in steals and runs without crushing your batting average.
Rougned Odor – Baltimore Orioles 2B/3B – (ADP: 455.17)
Rougned Odor is only 28-years-old even though it doesn’t feel like it. At his ADP, Odor might be the last player who is capable of hitting 20 home runs with 8-10 stolen bases. From 2016-2019, he never finished with less than 11 stolen bases with Texas Rangers and he just signed a one-year “show-me” deal with the Baltimore Orioles. Odor didn’t steal any bases in 2021, but that’s because the Yankees do not like to run. For the upcoming season, Odor will be the starting second baseman for the O’s. For that reason, he should see at least 300 at-bats.
Keston Hiura – Milwaukee Brewers 1B (ADP: 470.38)
Keston Hiura might be the most controversial player on this list because he hasn’t had a good season since 2019. In 2019, Hiura hit 19 home runs and stole nine bases in 84 games. At the beginning of the 2021 season, Hiura learned his mother was diagnosed with cancer. Hiura talked about how hard it was for him mentally to play baseball. He is still only 25-years-old and he possesses excellent raw power and speed. If he had enough at-bats to qualify last year, his 15.2% barrel percentage on balls in play would have sandwiched him between two of the best sluggers in the league in Vladimir Guerrero Jr. (15.1%) and Giancarlo Stanton (15.7%). Don’t give up on him just yet.
Tyler Wade – Los Angeles Angels SS/3B/OF (ADP: 493.69)
In the offseason, the New York Yankees traded Tyler Wade to the Los Angeles Angels after he finally had his breakout season. Wade slashed .268/.354/.323 with 17 stolen bases. In LA, Wade will be a starter for the first time in his career. ATC projects Wade to steal 20 bases and he should have plenty of playing time because of his versatility.
Dylan Moore – Seattle Mariners 2B/OF (ADP: 508.86)
Last year Dylan Moore stole a career-high 21 bases while hitting 12 home runs. Moore’s sprint speed is in the 83rd percentile. Although he has a poor career .204 average, he walks 10.6% of the time. His playing time may be scarce but when he does play, he will get you steals. It is also possible he is shunned out of the lineup because of his inability to hit.
Jon Berti – Miami Marlins 2B/3B (ADP: 634.99)
In his four-year career, Jon Berti has slashed .247/.341/.361 with 35 steals in 201 games. Berti is extremely fast as his sprint speed is in the 99th percentile. He will serve as the Marlins primary infield utilityman. If any Marlins face an injury, Berti will give you solid production at a shallow position.
Have ended up with Jon Berti (2B/3B) in 4 of my last 5 DCs at an average price of Round 40.
Always an injury away from being more than just a bench bat / pinch runner.
One of the few late-round guys with 15+ SB upside that we can grab a slice of on the right half-weeks.
— Vlad Sedler (@RotoGut) February 18, 2022
Stolen bases are becoming harder to secure with each passing year so it is very important to have a strategy before entering your draft. By not overpaying for speed, you will be able to focus more on other categories and ultimately, construct a more balanced team.
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