We all know that speed is becoming more and more expensive, so identifying late round options who can help is more important than ever before. Who are the best players to have on our radar? Who are the ones who can make a significant difference? Here are four names that belong on your radar:
Manuel Margot –
Outfielder – San Diego Padres
Current NFBC ADP – 253.08
It’s easy to argue that Margot has the highest upside of anyone on this list, and that’s going to make him an ideal target. The problem is that he’s struggled in the Majors, including hitting .245 with 8 HR and 11 SB over 519 PA last season. He also is going to have to battle for playing time in a crowded outfield, with Hunter Renfroe, Wil Myers, Franmil Reyes and Travis Jankowski all vying for playing time.
Margot showed the underlying skills for significant improvement, which gives a sense for optimism:
- SwStr% – 9.0%
- O-Swing% – 29.0%
- Hard% – 39.3%
With his speed that should lead to better than a .281 BABIP (even if there are some popup issues, at 17.2% last season). He also has at least a little bit more power, even if it’s just 12-15 HR upside. Couple that with the speed to steal 20+ bases (he’s stolen as many as 42 bases in a season) and he’s an easy target.
Delino Deshields – Outfielder
– Texas Rangers
Current NFBC ADP – 415.89
It’s amazing how perception can change 12 months later… Entering 2018 there was a lot of optimism around Deshields, but after hitting .216 over 393 PA (and having spent time back at Triple-A) he’s virtually a forgotten man. The Rangers are set for a rebuild and they have every reason to give him a second opportunity (especially given the state of their outfield) to prove that 2017 (.269 with 29 SB) was no aberration.
As it is he stole 20 bases in his limited time in ’18 and with his speed, groundball approach (49.1% groundball rate) and willingness to use the entire field (31.4% Oppo%), you would think he’d post better than a .280 BABIP (even with a poor 27.7% Hard%). Throw in a strong approach (7.4% SwStr%, 23.4% O-Swing%) and he should be able to hit .260+ and draw plenty of walks (10.1% walk rate in the Majors). That should lead to ample opportunities to run.
Greg Allen –
Outfielder – Cleveland Indians
Current NFBC ADP – 355.24
The switch hitter finally got a bit of an extended look in the Majors in ’18 and delivered 21 SB over 291 PA. He hit .257 last season, but he showed more than that at Triple-A (.298) and should be able to hit .265 or better while carrying an elevated BABIP.
He’s not going to provide any power, but even last season he totaled 33 SB in 43 attempts and the Indians are a team in desperate need of help in the outfield (does Jordan Luplow, Leonys Martin, Tyler Naquin and/or Jason Kipnis really seem like much of an impediment). Allen should get a chance, and if your sole goal is stolen bases he’s the name to target.
Jarrod Dyson –
Outfielder – Arizona Diamondbacks
Current NFBC ADP – 609.52
Dyson has long proven to be capable of stealing bases, even in limited playing time. He’s never had more than 390 PA in a season, yet has routinely flirted with 30+ steals (including 28 as a member of the Mariners in 2017).
On a rebuilding Arizona team it will be interesting to see how he’s deployed, though he should at least share CF duties with Ketel Marte. As long as he gets 300 PA, which he should, he could prove to be a difference maker in the category. At this price he’s well worth grabbing for those in daily formats.
Sources – Fangraphs, NFBC