Join Scout today and get access to our Weekly Closer Report, Waiver Wire Pickups, Rankings, DFS insight and more!
The lack of stolen bases across baseball last season is pushing up the players that are elite in the category, even the ones that don't help in several categories. This is happening with Marlins second baseman Dee Gordon.
Gordon is being drafted in the third and fourth rounds of early drafts. That's too high. Roster construction is important, so if you start the draft with three power hitters that lack speed, Gordon could be a fit for that team, but he doesn't do enough.
While Gordon can give you a huge advantage in stolen bases, it's one category. You do not need to win every category. With power up across baseball, Gordon hurts even more now with his lack of power. With Gordon on the roster, you're chasing power and RBIs the rest of the draft.
The better strategy is to draft several players with the ability to steal 10-20 bases or get them from the middle infield spot later in drafts. It's also easier to trade for Gordon or a Billy Hamilton during the season.
If you come out short on stolen bases during the draft and in the middle of the season you can gain a few points in the category, you can trade for Gordon. The Gordon owner might have a big lead in steals or be weak in power and RBIs and need to move him.
Keep in mind that if stolen bases remain down in baseball, many fantasy teams will be in a similar position. Gordon started slowly last season batting .266 with 13 runs, no home runs, five RBIs and six stolen bases in eight attempts in 94 at-bats before being suspended 80 games for PEDs.
Gordon finished the season with a .268 average, 47 runs, one home run, 14 RBIs and 30 stolen bases in 37 attempts. In 2015, he batted .333 with 88 runs, four home runs, 46 RBIs and 58 stolen bases on 78 attempts.
The price to pay for Gordon in drafts is too much. Even if Gordon gets back to batting .289, which is his career mark, he hurts you in home runs and RBIs. If the power surge of last season continues, Gordon is going to cripple the team and have you playing from behind in those categories.
When you are drafting Gordon, he is the centerpiece of your team because of the high price you pay. He's even less valuable in points leagues assuming the scoring system doesn't inflate the value for steals and most favor power. The same goes for head-to-head leagues as well.
While most are inclined to boost a player like Gordon, who can steal 60 bases, he's going to hurt you in home runs and RBIs, and you do not need to win the stolen base category. The goal is to be competitive in the category, and you can do it without Gordon. Don't overvalue Dee Gordon.