Unfavorable Matchups, American League
Dioner Navarro, Tampa Bay (25 for 67 .373 CS%): 4 against Baltimore (Brian Roberts, Nick Markakis, Adam Jones, Jay Payton), 4 against Detroit (Carlos Guillen, Curtis Granderson, Placido Polanco, Gary Sheffield)
Joe Mauer, Minnesota (27 for 75, .360 CS%): 3 against CHW (Orlando Cabrera, Alexei Ramirez, Dewayne Wise), 3 against Kansas City (Joey Gathright, Alex Gordon, David DeJesus, Mike Aviles, Esteban German)
Kurt Suzuki, Oakland (29 for 82, .354 CS%): 3 against Texas (Michael Young, Josh Hamilton, Marlon Byrd), 3 against Seattle (Ichiro Suzuki, Jose Lopez)
Favorable Matchups, American League
AJ Pierzynski, CHW (20 for 109, .183 CS%): 3 against Minnesota (Carlos Gomez, Denard Span, Delmon Young, Nick Punto, Alexi Casilla, Matt Tolbert), 3 against Cleveland (Grady Sizemore, Jamey Carroll, Franklin Gutierrez)
Ramon Hernandez, Baltimore (24 for 115, .209 CS%): 4 against Tampa Bay (BJ Upton, Jason Bartlett, Eric Hinske, Evan Longoria, Jonny Gomes), 3 against Toronto (Alex Rios, Marco Scuturo, Joe Inglett)
Jason Varitek, Boston: (16 for 69, .232 CS%) 4 against Cleveland (Grady Sizemore, Jamey Carroll, Franklin Gutierrez), 3 against NYY (Johnny Damon, Alex Rodriguez, Bobby Abreu, Derek Jeter, Melky Cabrera, Brett Gardner)
Unfavorable Matchups, National League
Jason Kendall, Milwaukee (39 for 90, .433 CS%): 3 against Pittsburgh (Nate McLouth, Nyjer Morgan), 3 against CHC (Ryan Theriot, Kosuke Fukudome, Alfonso Soriano, Derrek Lee, Mark DeRosa)
Yadier Molina, STL (18 for 52, .346 CS%) 4 against Arizona (Chris Young, Mark Reynolds, Conor Jackson), 3 against Cincinnati (Jerry Hairston, Corey Patterson, Chris Dickerson)
Bengie Molina, SF (32 for 95, .337 CS%): 4 against St. Louis (Cesar Izturis, Skip Schumaker, Adam Kennedy, Brendon Ryan), 3 against Colorado (Willy Taveras, Matt Holliday, Scott Podsednik, Clint Barmes, Ryan Spilborghs)
Favorable Matchups, National League
Brian McCann, Atlanta (26 for 114, .228 CS%): 3 against Philadelphia (Jimmy Rollins, Shane Victorino, Eric Bruntlett, Jayson Werth, Chase Utley), 3 against Houston (Michael Bourn, Kaz Matsui, Lance Berkman)
Russell Martin, LAD (19 for 83, .229 CS%) 3 against San Diego (Jody Gerut, Will Venable), 3 against San Francisco (Randy Winn, Eugenio Velez, Dave Roberts)
Geovany Soto, CHC (25 for 90, .278 CS%): 4 against NYM (Jose Reyes, Carlos Beltran, David Wright, Endy Chavez, Luis Castillo), 3 against Milwaukee (Corey Hart, Rickie Weeks, Mike Cameron, Ryan Braun)
NL SB Prospects for 2009:
Jay Bruce: At the age of 21, he has already proven that he can hit for power at the major league level, 18 home runs in 377 AB, but he has struggled on the basepaths, 3 for 9 in steals. Before being called up this year, he swiped 8 bags in 9 tries during 49 Triple-A games, so the speed is there. He just needs to work on his technique, but he should eventually become an above average basestealer.
Cameron Maybin: Maybin’s 68% Ct% in Double-A shows that he needs more seasoning, so he probably will not make an impact until mid-season 2009 at the earliest. In a 24 game audition with the Tigers in 2007, he stole 5 bases in 5 attempts, so we already know he can steal bases at the major league level.
Andrew McCutchen: There is a good chance that McCutchen could be a starting outfielder with the Pirates when they break camp next spring. He is fast and had no problem stealing against Double-A catchers, 17 for 18 in steals last year. He ran often this year in Triple-A, 53 attempts in 135 games, but was caught a little too much, 19 caught steals. Unless he improves his technique, expect the caught steals to increase against much better competition, which could limit the amount of times he gets the green light.
Brent Lillibridge: It is doubtful that Lillibridge will hit enough to be a regular, 4/39/.220 with a 75% Ct% in 355 Triple-A AB, but with his speed, 23 steals in 30 attempts, and defense he could carve out a utility role with the Braves next year. Lack of playing will limit his value to NL-only leagues.
Dexter Fowler: Despite never playing in Triple-A, the Rockies thought enough of Fowler to include him in their September callups. The 22-year-old outfielder had a great season in Double-A, 9/64/.335 with 31 doubles and 20 steals in 421 AB. Most likely he starts the season in Triple-A, but he could be with the big league team as early as May next year.
Josh Anderson: A slap hitter, 88% Ct%, with great speed, 42 steals in 49 attempts, Anderson has a nice season in Triple-A, 4/40/.314 in 494 AB. At the age of 26, he is not a top prospect and he will need to improve his plate patience, 6% BB in Triple-A, but he is holding his own in a late season starting role with the Braves, 1/7/.269 with 6 steals in 93 AB. If he gets a starting role next year, he is worth using in all formats because of his speed.
Chris Dickerson: After having a fine season in Triple-A, 11/53/.287 with 26 steals in 349 AB, the Reds are using Dickerson as a starter with good results, 6/15/.307 with 9 doubles and 5 steals in 101 AB. It is doubtful that he can keep this kind of power up over a full season and he swings and misses way too much, 66% Ct%. At the age of 26, he is hardly considered a top prospect and he probably will not make it as a regular, but if he does, he could provide some speed.
Brian Bixler: The soon-to-be 26 year-old Bixler is not showing signs that he can hit enough to be a regular, 7/36/.280 with an 8% BB% and a 67% Ct% in 321 Triple-A AB and 0/2/.155 with a 5% BB% and a 68% Ct% in 103 major league AB. If you are going to whiff that much, you need plate patience and power, neither of which Bixler possesses. He could stick with the Pirates in a utility role, where his speed, 23 steals in 30 tries, could be an asset in NL-only leagues.
Jonathan Herrera: Herrera is getting a late season audition in the Rockies’ infield, 0/3/.230 in 61 AB. As he has moved up the ladder, it looks like he is stealing less but picking his spots much better, 34 for 49 in Single-A in 2006, 18 for 30 in Double-A in 2007, and 15 for 17 in Triple-A this year. If he makes the big team next year, his role will determine if he is worth trying in mixed leagues or if his value is limited to NL-only leagues.
Will Venable: Venable could carve out a reserve role next with the Padres. He didn’t run much this year, 7 steals in 10 attempts in Triple-A, but with 21 steals in 23 attempts last year in Double-A, the speed and basestealing skills are evident.