The love of getting things on the cheap is built into all of us. Garage sales. Half-off department store blowouts. Clipping coupons. We love it. It makes us feel like we got away with something. It’s almost a badge of honor. Oh, you like these jeans? They were $100.00 but I got them on sale for $49.99. BOOM. The same feeling exists in the world of fantasy sports as well. You’re happy with the production of Edwin Encarnacion, but you’re really happy that you got him in the 10th round, and tell your friends as much.
On that note, there are deals out there. Today we’re focusing on speed, where several players can provide stolen bases for the bargain hunting consumer.
Quintin Berry (8% owned)
Berry, the 27-year-old rookie outfielder, is seeing a majority of the at bats in left field against right handed pitching and has taken full advantage. Never a big time prospect, Berry had up and down seasons in the minors but the one skill that stayed true was his speed. He’s swiped 50+ bags in two seasons and 40+ in two others. If you combine his Triple-A and big league totals this season he has 31 steals in 69 games. Over the past 30 days he’s stolen 11 bags, the fourth most in baseball over that time. He’s hitting over his head with a .435 batting average on balls in play (BABIP), so it’s unlikely he’ll keep up his current .307/.397/.416 line but unless he totally bombs from here out he should keep his playing time. Jim Leyland isn’t shy about playing guys with less than stellar OBP’s.
Ben Revere (24%)
Remember how I mentioned that Berry had stolen the fourth most bases over the last 30 days? Well, Revere is second with 13 and is hitting .355 over that time. After a disappointing 2011 season and some time in Triple-A this year Revere has found his groove. He’s not likely to keep hitting .331, but his .349 BABIP isn’t abnormally high for a player like him. He’s always had very good minor league numbers and hopefully, for his sake, he’s figured out how to translate that potential to major league success. He’ll never be a power or RBI threat, but he should easily be able to steal 30+ bases. You can get him, like, right now.
Everth Cabrera (9%)
I’m not exactly sure what took the Padres so long to start Cabrera. Yes, he’s been starting for roughly a month now, but they let Jason Bartlett get 98 plate appearances and hit .133/.240/.193 before that. Cabrera has rewarded San Diego with a .347 wOBA and 126 wRC+ in his 35 games. He’s on this list, though, due to his 11 steals. In 2008 while in Class-A with the Rockies’ organization he stole 73 bases. His next highest was 31, but that was in just 60 games between Triple-A and the major leagues in 2011. The Padres have nothing to lose by starting the 25-year-old the rest of the season. Our ZiPS projections peg him for just 15 steals the rest of the season, but I’m a Cabrera fan and if his OBP can stay in the .330 range I don’t see a reason he won’t top that mark.
Erik writes for DraysBay and has also written for Bloomberg Sports. Follow him on Twitter @ehahmann.