Top Base Stealers Projected For The 2013 MLB Baseball Season

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Wednesday February.20/2013

Trout must find a way to stay selective at the plate -to keep walking in 2013 - especially if his average dips.  He can wreak havoc on the base paths once he makes it there.

Trout must find a way to stay selective at the plate -to keep walking in 2013 – especially if his average dips. He can wreak havoc on the base paths once he makes it there.

Bernie Olshansky (Baseball Writer):

Workouts for all teams are in full swing and Spring Training games will start this weekend. Baseball season is here. In the past few weeks, I have projected saves and HR leaders for this upcoming season. In this week’s installment of projections, I will predict the SB leaders for the year (in descending order).

1. Mike Trout, 50

Last year, Trout caught the baseball world by storm after being called up nearly a month after the season started. The young superstar stole 49 bases en route to an MVP-like season. If it were not for Miguel Cabrera winning the Triple Crown, Trout would have been the MVP. The Angels outfielder stole 49 bases in less than a full season. I believe that Trout will steal roughly the same amount of bases due to the Angels’ acquisition of Josh Hamilton. The Angels will want Trout in scoring position as much as possible. This year, there is no way the Angels will not make the playoffs with Trout, Hamilton, and Albert Pujols.

Mike Trout Highlights 2012 – Mature Lyrics so Parental Guidance is advised:

Micheal Bourn has steadily improved his offensive game over the last few years and his speed is still great.  He is a guy who is also a top 5 AL Lead Off hitter.

Micheal Bourn has steadily improved his offensive game over the last few years and his speed is still great. He is a guy who is also a top 5 AL Lead Off hitter for the Indians.

2. Michael Bourn, 45

Michael Bourn is no stranger to a list like this, stealing no less than 20 bases since 2007. Bourn’s career high in SBs is 61 (he did this twice, once in 2009 and again in 2011). He stole 42 bases last year, so I do not see him breaking his record this year unless the Indians have a special plan for him. Bourn will turn 30 this year, so we are still looking at a few years of productive base stealing from this speedy outfielder.

3. Brett Gardner, 41

Gardner (seen here sitting with Swisher) led the AL in SB during 2011 (49).

Gardner (seen here sitting with Swisher) led the AL in SB during 2011 (49).

The Yankees have something special in Gardner base stealing-wise. The only issue with this outfielder is his health. He has played in only two full seasons, but in those seasons he has stolen 47 and 49 bases. If Gardner can manage to stay healthy this year, the Yankees will be in good shape in terms of RISP, and should put up a good fight against the Blue Jays, Red Sox, and Orioles for the AL East.

4. Everth Cabrera, 40

With key players in the lineup like: Carlos Quentin and Chase Headley, plus the fences being closer, suddenly playing in San Diego doesn't look half bad.

Cabrera improves every season.

This Padres Shortstop has not quite made a name for himself yet. Last year, he stole 44 bases. This year I see him stealing roughly the same. Cabrera plays in the same division as Giants Catcher Buster Posey, so stealing on the Giants might be tough. The Padres will be pressed to be successful in the powerful NL West, but Cabrera will be exciting to watch.

5. Ben Revere, 39

Ben Revere would be best suited to hit in the 2 slot behind Jimmy Rollins this year, as he makes great contact (1 SO/Per 10.7 PA) , yet he doesn't walk much.  This will effect his SB Attempts more than the others

Ben Revere would be best suited to hit in the 2 slot behind Jimmy Rollins this year, as he makes great contact (1 SO/Per 10.7 PA) , yet he doesn’t walk much. This will affect his SB Attempts more than the others.

Revere is already a known base stealer, stealing 40 bags last year with the Twins. The Phillies got him as a replacement for Shane Victorino, so there is no doubt that one of the main reasons that he is on the Phillies is strictly to steal bases. Revere will definitely get enough opportunities to steal upwards of 40, so if he exceeds my prediction of 39 I will not be surprised.

6. Emilio Bonifacio, 36

The former Marlins utility man stole 30 last year in a season plagued by injury, so swiping 36 this season should not be a problem. The only thing that could stop Bonifacio from getting 36 is a lack of playing time. The Blue Jays signed Maicer Izturis to play second base and Jose Reyes came along with Bonifacio in the trade to play shortstop, so Bonifacio might be a late-inning pinch runner or defensive replacement.

Emilio Bonifacio struggled through injuries in 2012, yet still stole 25 bases in only 244 AB.  The team will need him to try and repeat his 2011 numbers where he was a .296 hitter with a OBP of .329.  If he can't stay healthy for the Jays, the trade will not look so favorable

Emilio Bonifacio struggled through injuries in 2012, yet still stole 30 bases in only 244 AB. The team will need him to try to repeat his 2011 numbers where he was a .296 hitter with a OBP of .329. If he can’t stay healthy for the Jays, the trade will not look as favorable.

(*The views and opinions expressed in this report are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of mlbreports.com*)

Today’s feature was prepared by our Baseball Writer Bernie Olshansky. We highly encourage you to leave your comments and feedback at the bottom of the page and share in the discussion with our readers. You can also follow Bernie on Twitter.

Bernie Olshansky

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About bernieolshansky

Living in the San Francisco Bay Area, I’ve experienced some exciting times with the local baseball teams—the Giants winning the World Series being the most memorable highlight. Some of my favorite players include Felix Hernandez, Tim Lincecum, and Cliff Lee among others. I played baseball up through my freshman year of high school and transitioned into being a full time fan. I regularly attend major and minor league games when I have free time. I enjoy working at a baseball store. I’m in my senior year of high school and hope to major in Journalism or Sports Administration in college. Follow Bernie on Twitter (@BernieOlshansky).

Posted on February 20, 2013, in MLB Player Profiles, Players: Fantasy Baseball Articles, The Rest: Everything Baseball and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

  1. Great list…Being an Indians fan, seeing Bourn leadoff is very exciting to me…Putting Kipnis right behind him will be very scary, having two base stealing threats back to back. Will be an exciting year basestealers.

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