Searching For Speed: Four Late Round Options Worth Targeting

by Eric Stashin (aka The Rotoprofessor)

Looking to find speed in the later rounds of your draft?  It’s fairly common at this point, as finding stolen base options isn’t as easy as it once was.  Let’s take a look at three of the options who should be available and can provide at least short-term help (ADP shown is from Friday, February 19):

 

Jarrod Dyson – Kansas City Royals
Current ADP – 299.74

Dyson looks primed to open the year sharing time with Paolo Orlando, thanks to the return of Alex Gordon, but the left-handed hitter would be on the favorable side of a platoon. He also has proven that he doesn’t need many AB in order to pile up the stolen bases:

  • 2012 – 1 SB every 11.0 PA
  • 2013 – 1 SB every 7.0 PA
  • 2014 – 1 SB every 8.1 PA
  • 2015 – 1 SB every 8.7 PA

He also may be able to hit a bit more than he’s shown in the past, given his speed and 23.4% line drive rate from 2015 yielding just a .296 BABIP. Of course he’s never shown that type of line drive rate before, but even a .260 average would be more than enough.

There is clearly playing time available, so if you need SB late he’s a good gamble to take.

 

Rajai Davis – Cleveland Indians
Current ADP – 340.71

Even when Mochael Brantley returns the Indians outfield doesn’t look all that great. It makes sense for them to look at someone like Dexter Fowler or Austin Jackson (as has been rumored), but until they make a move we need to plan as if they won’t make any further additions. Instead Davis may get more playing time then he did last season and could even find himself hitting atop the batting order (especially early on as the team needs Jason Kipnis in the middle).

Remember, Davis has four seasons of 40+ SB and had at least 29 each year from 2008-2014. While the number fell to 18 last season, he only had 341 AB and showed that the speed was still there with 11 triples.

At 35-years old he’s not the same player that he once was, but at this cost he doesn’t need to be. There appears to be an opportunity, even though he may be best suited for a platoon. Unless Cleveland makes a move.

 

Alcides Escober – Kansas City Royals
Current ADP – 277.77

He is never going to be an OBP monster and he only swiped 17 bases in 2015. Of course he had 31 the year before and was above 25 in three of the previous four seasons.

Maybe he doesn’t have the 40+ potential of others, but he easily could chip in 25 and is a near lock to play every day.

 

Jonathan Villar – Milwaukee Brewers
Current ADP – 406.15

We took an in-depth look at Villar when he was first traded to Milwaukee (click here to view) and the subsequent trade of Jean Segura locks him into a role early (until Orlando Arcia is deemed ready).  There’s no questioning his speed (he had 42 SB between Triple-A and the Majors last season) and with playing time he should certainly make an impact in the category.

 

Sources – Fangraphs, Baseball Reference, STATS

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