Welcome back, my thrifty shoppers, to the second edition of Clearance Sale. We here at Rotoballer are all about a good deal (have you seen our Draft Prep tools?!), and I am the king of good deals. Discount sales, expired goods -- I'm all about value. So to help you prepare for your drafts, we're bringing you some late round fliers to keep an eye on.
In this edition we'll focus on the flash of baseball, which is steals. In what is sometimes a "punted" stat in 5x5 formats, steals can be a key differentiator for middle-of-the-pack teams and will be your downfall in Roto formats if not addressed. That doesn't mean to you have to pay an arm and a leg. Major steal contributors were had in 2016 for pennies on the dollar, including Rajai Davis, Jean Segura, and Jonathan Villar. Who will be the speed gems in 2017? Let's get started.
Editor's note: for even more draft prep, visit our awesome 2017 fantasy baseball rankings dashboard. It has lots of in-depth staff rankings and draft strategy columns. You will find tiered rankings for every position, 2017 impact rookie rankings, AL/NL only league ranks and lots more. Bookmark the page, and win your drafts.
Late Round Fliers For Steals in 2017
Jarrod Dyson (OF, SEA)
Current ADP: 250
Dyson was highlighted in our Runs edition thanks to his new leadoff spot for Seattle, but his biggest value is speed. Dyson has averaged 33 steals in the past four seasons while never eclipsing 405 at-bats. Unlike Kansas City, Seattle has a shortage of outfield options making Dyson a valuable commodity with a real chance to crack 550 at-bats for the first time ever. With so many opportunities, Dyson will be a lock for 35 steals and should push for 50.
Rajai Davis (OF, OAK)
Current ADP: 241
New year, new team for Davis. Davis, 36, is on his fourth team in five years but still has value thanks to his legs. Davis had 43 steals last season along with a career-high 74 runs and 12 home runs. This led Oakland to signing Davis and giving him leadoff duties for a team that is in constant rebuild mode. There is no major outfield prospect Davis is blocking in Oakland, meaning he should see regular playing time. Davis is a lock for 30 steals with a legitimate opportunity to match his 43 from 2016.
Keon Broxton (OF, MIL)
Current ADP: 197
Broxton joined the Brewers club in the second half of 2016 and was an instant spark plug. In 244 at-bats (75 G) Broxton produced 36 steals with a .354 OBP. His strong play has him as the favorite to start in center field, although his fantasy value is stunted by Jonathan Villar occupying the leadoff role. If the Brewers decide to go Villar-Broxton-Ryan Braun, they will have the most steals from their 1-3 spots among all teams in 2017. Regardless where Broxton fits in the lineup, he will be running often and should be a shoe-in for 40 steals.
Hernan Perez (2B, 3B, OF MIL)
Current ADP: 203
Do you know who finished fourth in MLB with 24 steals in 2nd half? I'm sure you've guessed by now. Perez went on fire in the second half for Milwaukee, hitting .281 with nine home runs and the aforementioned 24 steals. Perez's multi-position eligibility combined with the strong second half are likely factors in the ADP of 203, but there is concern.
As of this moment, there is no starting spot for Perez, as Scooter Gennett is at second base and Domingo Santana occupying the remaining outfield spot. Push comes to shove, it should be Gennett who sees reduced playing time as Perez has displayed immense potential as a 5-cat producer. Draft with caution and patience.
Travis Jankowski (OF, SD)
Current ADP: 345
Remember when the Padres went for it with the big signings and trades? That was fun. Now all that's left is Wil Myers and a bevy of prospects, and Jankowski has taken advantage of the lack of surrounding talent. Jankowski drew 130 starts in 2016 and was able to steal 30 bases, although he was primarily a one-cat stat producer. He hit .245 with 53 runs, two HR, and 12 RBI. Jankowski is expected to bat leadoff in 2017, meaning there should be multiple steal opportunites ahead. Jankowski needs to be more selective (caught stealing 12 times -- third worst in MLB) and is worth avoiding in net steal (SB - CS) formats, but at virtually no cost he is a nice steals play late in your draft.
Manuel Margot (OF, SD)
Current ADP: 240
Here is part of the 'bevy of prospects' I mentioned above. Margot came over in the Craig Kimbrel trade and is expected to start the season in San Diego. Margot, 22, is ranked No. 24 on the Baseball America Top 100 Prospects list and has displayed an ability to hit for average in the minors along with a great glove. Assuming all goes well in Spring Training, Margot should find himself manning center field come Opening Day. There's some risk with unknown commodities, but the reward is far greater. Margot has a great chance to crack 25+ steals in his first full season.