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Article:Fantasy Steals--Guys Who Steal 10 Bases You Wouldn't Expect

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Set to the tune of Rudolph the Red Nose Reindeer (I know, it’s horrible. Just go with it)

You know Jose Reyes, Hanley Ramirez, Carl Crawford, Chone Figgins, Juan Pierre, Brian Roberts, Byrnsie, and J-Roll. But can you recall, the guys who get you steals that you wouldn’t expect???

Russell Martin, C—LAD — OK, so we already know he can steal bases, but the fact that you get some speed from your catcher makes him a source of unexpected steals. It isn’t that Martin is the fastest guy on the basepaths or anything... he is just an incredibly smart baserunner, and is great at reading the pitcher. You can expect him to keep his steals around the 21 he stole in 2007, and he gives your team a chance to get steals from a position most, if not all, other teams will get zero.

Chase Utley, 2B—PHI — He hits for average, he has power, he slices, he dices, he plays a weak fantasy position… and he steals some bases! Is there anything Chase Utley can’t do???? Well, he won’t single handedly win the save category, it isn’t like he steals 50 bases. But when others are picking guys like Albert Pujols and Prince Fielder in the first round for their power numbers, your choice of Utley gets you a good deal of power, plus 15-20 steals that will help get you a few extra points out of your first choice.

Matt Holliday, OF—COL — As the NL MVP runner up turned his power numbers from ordinary to extraordinary, another stat that helps his owners is his double digit steals. Holliday has stolen at least ten bases for the past three seasons, and in rotisserie leagues, that makes him slightly more valuable than guys with similar numbers, and no steals. Holliday is the number one rated outfielder this season, so don’t wait too long on him.

Carlos Lee, OF—HOU — Looking at Lee you would think the only running he would be doing would be to the buffet, but the big guy can move. Usually guys with nicknames that mean “the horse” in Spanish (Lee is called El Caballo), aren’t known for their quick feet. Since 2000, Carlos has managed to steal at least 10 bases every year except one, topping out at 19 in 2006. He is approaching his mid-30’s now, so it is possible that his years of having the green light are coming to an end, but until that happens expect another year of 10+ steals out of him.

Bobby Abreu, OF—NYY — For ten years now, Abreu has stolen at least 20 bases. By the look of him, you wouldn’t expect him to be a guy who steals that much, but take a look for yourself. His batting average and homers have been down from where they used to be from his days in Philly, but Abreu still gets around the bases pretty good, and in the later rounds is a good source of cheap steals.

Alex Rodriguez, 3B—NYY — God, I hate giving this many Yankees credit for being good, but… the likely number one overall pick in your fantasy draft, Rodriguez, is generally picked there because of his power. A-Rod hit 50+ HRs for the third time in his career in ’07 and set a new personal best with 156 RBIs. The bonus that he gives you is the stolen bases. Even though he is in the middle of a potent lineup and you would think he would run too much, Rodriguez is a good source of steals. Since becoming a full time starter in 1996, A-Rod has stolen at least 15 bases in every season except one. There doesn’t have to be much thought going into drafting him, but if you do own him, congratulations, you’ve got a fantasy stud.

Ryan Braun, 3B—MIL — The newest darling of fantasy baseball took the world by storm last year. Braun came to Milwaukee about 50 games into the season and tore the cover off the ball. However, lost in all those baseballs leaving stadiums was the fact that Braun also stole 15 bases in just 113 games. Ok, not Jose Reyes like, but impressive nonetheless for a guy known for his power. In 2006 during two stops in the minors Braun stole 26 bases in just 118 games, so the steals last year were most likely no fluke.

Alex Gordon, 3B—KC — The only statistical category that Gordon didn’t completely bomb on in 2007 was stolen bases. The ultra hyped ROY candidate fell completely on his face in his first go around in the majors, but still managed to steal 14 bases. I suppose it was a mild disappointment considering he took 22 bases in his one season in AA, but not nearly as far off his usual statistics as he was in EVERY other category. Expect a much better second season for Gordon in ’08, and his steal numbers to top 20.

As always, your questions (adds, drops, trades, draft questions, etc) and comments are welcome at I guarantee a response within 18 hours.

As always, your questions (adds, drops, trades, draft questions, etc) and comments are welcome at I guarantee a response within 18 hours.

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