8 Speedsters for the Stretch Run

Steals have become more and more rare these days. The upshot of that is you don’t need as many on your fantasy team to compete, but you still need some! This year isn’t that much different than last as far as SBs, but the top end is down a bit. This time last year, we had three guys with at least 35 SBs (Billy Hamilton 53, Dee Gordon 43, and Trea Turner 35) and this year Turner leads at 32. Last year there were 15 guys with 20+ and 57 at 10+. This year, we have 15 and 52, respectively.

Here are eight superfast guys who could give you a steals boost down the stretch:

Adam Engel OF, Chicago White Sox

Engel’s 30.0 ft/second sprint speed is tied for the third highest in the league behind only Byron Buxton (30.5) and Billy Hamilton (30.1). His stunning defense is earning him some extra playing time with starts in six of the last seven games. While the bat isn’t great (64 wRC+), he has still managed 12 SBs in 330 PA.

Harrison Bader OF, St. Louis Cardinals

Bader and our next guy are also tied with Engel at 30.0 ft/second, but I actually prefer both to Engel. “Well then why didn’t you list them ahead of Engel, Paul?” I don’t know. Don’t ask logical questions, please! Bader was part of my deadline beneficiary podcast and he’s done pretty well in the 10 games since I posted that: .263/.326/.474, 2 HR, and 2 SB in 43 PA. He’s still in the bottom third of the lineup, but he’s starting regularly and is worth a look in just about any league if you need speed.

Adalberto Mondesi SS/2B, Kansas City Royals

We’ve got a two-fer here in that Mondesi has the same 30.0 ft/second sprint speed of Engel and Bader and was featured on the deadline beneficiary pod. He has already swiped 15 bases in 133 PA this year after a big 3-steal game on Tuesday (during which he also went 4-for-4) and there’s no reason he shouldn’t be starting just about daily with the Royals.

Amed Rosario SS, New York Mets

Rosario is similar to Engel in that his bat leaves a lot to be desired (72 wRC+), but he’s just too fast (29.5 ft/sec.) to ignore the SB upside. He has 13 on the season in 406 PA and has been running a lot more lately with four in his last nine games. As with Engel, Mondesi, and others coming up, his team’s outlook is such that they don’t really have any good reason not to play him regularly. And to their credit, they have, as he’s missed just four of the Mets games.

Steven Duggar, San Francisco Giants

Duggar is another defensive stud who could turn his plus speed (29.0 ft/sec.) into some fantasy goodness. He’s started 11 of San Francisco’s 12 games in August and even has multi-hit games in three of his last six with 2 SBs. He’s likely to at least maintain the strong side of the platoon in centerfield and if he amps his offensive production a bit (86 wRC+), he could turn into an all-formats asset.

Garrett Hampson, Colorado Rockies

If you drop the threshold to just five opportunities, Hampson jumps into that big group of 30.0 ft/sec. guys. Speed has been his calling card throughout the minors, including an excellent 34-for-39 success rate in Double- and Triple-A this year. Unfortunately, he doesn’t have the path to playing time that the others do. He was up for a brief moment when DJ LeMahieu was on the DL and he’s up again now with Scott Oberg on paternity leave so we might not see an extended opportunity until September. Stay tuned, though.

Roman Quinn OF, Philadelphia Phillies

Quinn’s been up since July 27, but he’s started just four of the 14 games he has appeared in and has only posted a 68 wRC+. He was much better in Triple-A with a 122 wRC+ and 13 SBs (and just 1 CS) in 107 PA. I can’t really just see a full-fledged opportunity unless something opens up via injury, but be ready in case that does take place.

Magneuris Sierra OF, Miami Marlins

Sierra just missed the throng of 30s with a 29.8 ft/sec. sprint speed and has been up since July 24th. His bat has been nonexistent with a hot 6 wRC+, but surely it can’t get worse! He swiped 14 bags in 367 PA at Triple-A, though he also posted a 62 wRC+ there so we really need to see some improvement in the bat before he becomes more than an NL-Only flier.

My favorites for all formats: Mondesi, Bader

My favorites for deep leagues: Hampson, Quinn

Paul is the Editor of Rotographs and contributes to ESPN's Daily Notes. Follow Paul on Twitter @sporer and on Twitch at sporer.

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Brad Johnson

Roman Quinn could be a super secret top 30 player if he played everyday. And if he could play more than 2 weeks in a row without sustaining a major injury.

And I mean top 30 fantasy. Where we REALLY care about players with 40+ SB and ANY other categories. Reality, not so much.