Of the thousand-plus athletes who contributed to fantasy baseball 5 x 5 roto leagues last season, 400 managed to swipe at least one base. Included were such luminaries as the Indians’ Luke Carlin, Brewers’ Eric Farris and Padres’ Blake Tekotte. Each of those speedsters swiped one base without being caught in 15 or fewer at bats.
After adding up the thievery, from Mike Trout’s league-leading 49 to Brandon Barnes’ lone lift, 3,218 bases were stolen last season. That averaged out to, roughly, eight stolen bases per player. Now due to extremes on both ends of the spectrum, I doubled that average to 16 stolen bases, plus/minus two steals, to create a range I believe fantasy baseball owners should target (not necessarily obtain) in drafts without sacrificing runs, home runs, RBI and average in 5 x 5 roto scoring leagues.
Take a look at this 10-pack of players, all of which finished outside the Top 50 in stolen bases:
2013 Fantasy Baseball: Stolen Bases Study
|Pos.||2012 SB Rank||Player||Team||R||HR||RBI||SB||CS||AVG||2012 ADP||2013 ADP|
The group averaged 89 runs scored, 23 home runs, 81 RBI, nearly 16 stolen bases, while carrying a .281 batting average. Only two of the 23 players who finished the season with 30-or-more stolen bases managed to reach those 5 x 5 statistical plateaus: Mike Trout and Ryan Braun, both assumed first-round fantasy picks.
2012 Public 5 x 5 Roto League Champion Averages
|Runs||Home Runs||Runs Batted In||Stolen Bases||Batting Average|
Note: league champion averages of 1,483 public 5 x 5 roto leagues
Just for a second, imagine a 2012 roster of:
1B – Paul Goldschmidt (4th round)
2B – Brandon Phillips (7th round)
3B – Chase Headley (5th round)
SS – Ben Zobrist (6th round)
OF – Ryan Braun (1st round)
OF – Yoenis Cespedes (8th round)
OF - Adam Jones (2nd round)
The above group’s 2012 average draft position averaged out to between the 13th and 14th rounds, a trend unlikely to continue in 2013. The final column indicates the assumed round each fantasy player should be selected (plus/minus one round). Once 2013 fantasy baseball mock drafts are up and running on FOXSports.com (coming in February), I’ll update this piece with each player’s 2013 mock draft ADP.