Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Spring Update - Stolen Base Edition

Several more updates from Spring Training:

1. Rickie Weeks stole his 5th base of the Spring, starting right where he left off after a monster September.

2. Scott Podsednek, vying for a spot on Colorado's roster, stole his 5th base of the Spring. From 2003 to 2006 Pods averaged 53 steals a season, but after an injury-plagued 2007 caused him to miss 90 games, the White Sox decided to part ways with him. Even with a good Spring, fantasy baseball owners should be cautious as Podsednek will be a fourth outfielder at best on a team stacked in the outfield with Matt Holliday, Willie "Mays Hayes" Tavares, and Brad Hawpe.

3. Eugenio Velez, competing for a roster spot with the Giants, stole his 7th base earlier today. Velez, who had 49 steals and a .299 BA in 376 double-A at-bats in 2007, is unlikely to earn a starting job. The Giants have a crowded outfield, many of whom are similar in what they bring to the table. Dave Roberts, Randy Winn, Rajai Davis, and Velez will all be competing for corner outfield spots. Velez, a centerfielder by trade, is unlikely to beat out any of those veterans. Moreover, centerfield is the one position where there is no competition as Aaron Rowand is a lock to start on opening day. Our advice is to pay attention to the waiver wire and if Roberts and/or Winn get injured, as they are apt to do, Velez could find himself thrust into the lineup and could be a source of extra steals.

4. Colby Rasmus, likely to start in the Cardinals outfield, stole his third base of the Spring. Although he is a top prospect, Rasmus has never played a game above double A, so he could struggle in 2008 as he adapts to major league pitching. Even if he struggles at the plate, Rasmus still has the wheels to swipe 15-20 bags if he wins the job.

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