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The talk about stolen bases being down in baseball has been a hot topic as we prepare for drafts. Fantasy players are making sure to get steals early. What if you miss out on steals in the early portion of the draft? There are some players later in the draft that can help you in the category at a cheap cost. Here are some that can help.
OF Rajai Davis, OAKLAND A'S
Davis is 36 years old, but he has shown he can still run and is slated to lead off for the A's. In seven of the last eight years, Davis has at least 30 stolen bases. In 454 at-bats last season, Davis batted .249 with 74 runs, 12 home runs, 48 RBIs and 43 stolen bases in 49 attempts with the Indians. Davis struggled in the second half, and there's always concern considering his age, but if he has an everyday job, 30 stolen bases can be achieved.
2B Cesar Hernandez, PHILADELPHIA PHILLIES
Hernandez has the speed. Learning how to steal successfully is the next step, and usually, that can be improved. Reading pitchers and getting good jumps will determine if Hernandez can get to 25-30 stolen bases. Hernandez stole 17 bases last season but was caught 13 times. He was 19 of 24 two years ago. Hernandez had a .371 on-base percentage last season, and after a 5.5 percent walk rate in the first half, he walked 15.7 percent of the time in the second half. He's slated to hit leadoff, and he's going very cheap in drafts and can be used as a middle infielder.
OF Manuel Margot, SAN DIEGO PADRES
The Padres have a crowded outfield, but Margot should get most of the time in centerfield. Margot stole 162 bases in five seasons in the minor leagues, so there's no doubt about the speed. He's a good contact hitter and should hit for a good average. Margot had 517 at-bats in Triple-A last season and hit .304 with six home runs, 55 RBIs, and 30 stolen bases.
OF Leonys Martin, SEATTLE MARINERS
Martin has flaws for sure, but based on roster construction he can help a fantasy team. If it's late in the draft and you need some steals, Martin can help. He has stolen 36, 31, 14 and 24 stolen bases over the last four seasons. The 14 came in 95 games. Last season, Martin batted .247 with 72 runs, a career-high 15 home runs, and 47 RBIs. For his career, Martin has 108 stolen bases in 140 attempts.
OF Cameron Maybin, LOS ANGELES ANGELS
Playing time is the question with Maybin. He will vie with Ben Revere for playing time, and with Maybin being the right-hander and Revere a left-hander, there could be a platoon. Maybin has a difficult time staying healthy, but he has been good when he plays. Maybin has at least 15 stolen bases in four of the last five seasons, and the 15 came last season in only 94 games. In deeper formats, he can be considered for a bench spot.
OF Ben Revere, LOS ANGELES ANGELS
As mentioned in the Maybin blurb, Revere is competing for at-bats. If Maybin can't stay healthy, Revere can seize the job. Revere had an oblique injury early in the season last year and never got going. When Revere plays more than 100 games, pencil in at least 30 stolen bases. Revere was awful last season, but it appears it was injury related. Revere batted .300 with 156 stolen bases in the five years before 2016. He's extremely cheap in drafts and worth a stash if you need steals late in the draft.
OF Charlie Tilson, CHICAGO WHITE SOX
Tilson has been set back in the spring due to a foot injury. He was the favorite to start in centerfield. He could open the season on the disabled list and might not be drafted in many formats, but he's a name to consider in deeper mixed leagues and keep on the radar in others. He stole 46 bases in the minor leagues in 2015 and has the ability to steal 20-25 bases.