Tagged: Coco Crisp

Fantasy Baseball Preview: 2012 Top Stolen Base Threats


Twitter: @RobShawSports

Bloomberg Sports Anchor Rob Shaw breaks down the top five players at stolen bases according to the projections behind the Bloomberg Sports Front Office Tool found at BloombergSports.com.

The top stolen base threat will be Braves outfielder Michael Bourn. Bloomberg Sports forecasts that he is the only speedster who will surpass 50 stolen bases this season.  Though he has little power, Bourn has evolved into a fine fantasy option with a high average and as many as 61 stolen bases in a season.  In 53 games with the Braves last season following a trade, Bourn swiped 22 bases.

Next, the Yankees and Red Sox both have speedsters as Jacoby Ellsbury and Brett Gardner are next on the list. Ellsbury will again be an MVP candidate while Gardner’s value depends upon where he is in the lineup.

Ellsbury is projected to again surpass 20 home runs this season with 40-plus steals.  The fact that he offers an all-around game has taken away from his stolen bases, but fantasy managers should have no gripes.  Gardner, on the other hand, is more of a one-trick pony who relies on stolen bases.  If the Yankees wish to take advantage of his high OBP they could have him bat leadoff, which would lead to more runs, but Yankees Manager Joe Girardi seemed to like having him at the back of the lineup last season.

The Oakland A’s will have no need for speed with Coco Crisp on their team. He is a bit injury-prone, but steals with the best of them.  Crisp also has a little pop, twice hitting 15 or more home runs in a season.  If the A’s lineup shows some improvement you should expect many more runs coming from Crisp.

Finally, BJ Upton has yet to meet his lofty expectations but he does pack some power and should steal close to 40 bases.  Last season Upton shined in four categories with 80-plus runs, 80-plus RBI, 20-plus HR, and 35-plus steals.  Unfortunately, he only hit .243.  There remains some hope he can be the complete package as the 27-year-old once hit .300 for a full season.  On the other hand, Upton has finished with an average less than .245 in three straight seasons.

The ultimate sleeper is Dodgers middle infielder Dee Gordon, while his teammate Matt Kemp predicts that he will go 50-50 for the first time in baseball history.

For more fantasy insight visit BloombergSports.com.

A Tale of Two Base Stealers

By R.J. Anderson //
#avg_ls_inline_popup { position:absolute; z-index:9999; padding: 0px 0px; margin-left: 0px; margin-top: 0px; width: 240px; overflow: hidden; word-wrap: break-word; color: black; font-size: 10px; text-align: left; line-height: 13px;}
and Coco Crisp entered the 2010 season as teammates on the
Oakland Athletics. The pair has since split up — with Oakland trading
Davis to the Toronto Blue Jays during the off-season — but still remain
two of the biggest basestealing targets for fantasy players.

Many aspects of a player’s game are analyzed when a player changes
teams. Where he fits in the lineup, how his offensive style will fit in
the park, and whether the new division includes an increased level of
competition. Rarely is team philosophy taken account. In Davis’s case,
how the Jays allow him to play on the basepaths is critical to how you value him in your draft. In 2010, Davis stole 50 bases — more
than Carl Crawford, Ichiro, and every American League player except
Juan Pierre. Meanwhile, the entire Jays team stole just 58 bases last season. The Jays only
had one player with double-digit steals (Fred Lewis)…and Davis just took his job.

Since the Jays’ offense was built around home runs, it’s hard
to say whether the team will pull the reins in on Davis’ running game or if the low stolen bases total was simply a result of the team’s makeup last year.
Davis is a very efficient thief (79% for his career), so there’s no objective reason to hold him back.

Meanwhile, the oft-injured Crisp remains an Athletic. The serial
stealer made the most of his 127 stolen base opportunities (defined as
a situation where the runner is on first or second with the next base
open) and attempted 35 steals. For a reference point, each of the 16
players with more steals each had at least 40 more opportunities.
Expect that rate to drop, as Crisp averaged about 29 steal attempts per
season when he was with Boston — and those three seasons came before
he hit the wrong side of 30. There could also be concerns about playing
time, as the Athletics have added to their outfield depth with the acquisitions of David DeJesus and Josh Willingham (not to mention presumptive DH Hideki Matsui).

Even with the questions about team philosophy, take Davis if you have to choose between the pair. He’s not much of an offensive player by real-life standards, but he should still give even your standard mixed league team a strong stolen base boost.

Players To Target For Specific Category Help

By Eriq Gardner //
Some players are well-rounded contributors. They post good numbers in all fantasy baseball categories.
Then, there are the players who might be strong in certain categories, but weak in others. At the beginning of the year, a player who expresses a consistent shortcoming can be a liability. For example, Ichiro Suzuki has always been phenomenal in stolen bases and average, but any team that rosters him will need to cover his lack of production in HR and RBI by rostering others who can make up for his deficits there.
As the season wears on, however, the standings necessitate a different game-plan. A team owner might find he has a big lead in a certain category, or maybe he finds a big deficit. Either way, no amount of production will yield much movement. 
Instead, competitors who wish to earn extra points in the standings must examine the opportunities for best potential gain. This often means that competitors should roster players who are more one-dimensional. A player’s overall value during the final few weeks of the season becomes less important than contributions made in specific categories. If you’re up by 20 HR over the next team, but find yourself in the thick of a close steals race, a player like Ichiro can be a lot more valuable to you than even a superstar like Miguel Cabrera.
Let’s examine some players who are largely unowned in 10- or 12-team mixed leagues, who can provide great targeted value in specific counting categories:


Jim Thome is 39 years old and doesn’t play every day anymore, but he can still be an elite power producer. He’s hitting a HR in 6.27% of his plate appearances, which ranks third among all batters with at least 150 AB. The Twins have conserved their use of Thome this season because of his age and the team’s depth. But Thome’s been playing more and more as the team finds itself in a battle with the Chicago White Sox for supremacy of the AL Central, and Justin Morneau remains on the disabled list. If Thome is healthy, look for him to be in the lineup as much as possible when the team faces an opposing pitcher who is right-handed. That’s where he gets most of his at-bats, and where he does the most damage.


Pat Burrell was left for dead by many after he got cut by Tampa Bay earlier this season. But he’s become an important cog in the offense of the San Francisco Giants as they fight for a wild card spot. In the past month, Burrell has been moved to the cleanup position of the Giants lineup, hitting behind three players — Andres Torres, Buster Posey, and Aubrey Huff — who do a good job at getting on base. In this time, Burrell has done his job by knocking them home 19 times. His August RBI total ranks sixth in baseball. Burrell has the skills and now has the opportunity to continue to be a great source of RBI down the stretch. 


Coco Crisp has been phenomenal since coming back from injury on June 22. On a value-per-game basis this season, only a handful of players have been better. But let’s focus on runs scored. Since June 22, Crisp ranks 15th in baseball with 39 runs. The 14 players ahead of him are owned in virtually all leagues. For Oakland, Crisp bats leadoff. A top position in the lineup translates to more at-bats, which is necessary when attacking a counting stat like runs. Crisp has decent, but not spectacular on-base skills. When he gets on base, though, it usually translates to a run, thanks partly to his great speed. No matter Oakland’s position in the standings, Crisp has motivation to produce. It’s expected that the team will buy out his contract at the end of the season, meaning he’s playing for a new deal.



Eric Young Jr. has long been touted as a beneath-the-radar prospect who could make quite the impact at the major league level for fantasy owners. In four minor league seasons from 2006-2009, he averaged a tremendous 66 steals per season. What makes Young special is not just his speed, but also his plate discipline. During this time, he was an enormously patient batter, drawing walks and maintaining an OBP above .387 in three of those four minor league seasons. Now at the big-league level in the hitter-friendly ballpark of Coors Field, Young has carried over his skills, with 10 steals in just 24 games. Stealing .42 bases per game ties him with Crisp for the major league lead. Young is batting leadoff, qualifies at 2B and in the OF, and has been earmarked for full-time playing time going forward.
Tomorrow, we’ll examine some pitching categories.
For more on fantasy baseball insight, check out Bloomberg Sports’ fantasy kits