2010 Projections: Why Reds’ Outfielder Drew Stubbs Will Steal 40 Bases

DENVER - SEPTEMBER 07:  Shortstop Troy Tulowit...

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Opening Day 2010 is now upon us, which means most fantasy drafts have been completed. Judging by Average Draft Positions on Mock Draft Central, fantasy owners are allowing certain sleeper candidates to go un-drafted. One of those guys is Drew Stubbs, who has a current ADP of 311.40.

Last year, Baseball America claimed Stubbs “has excellent bat speed, above-average raw power, and plus-plus speed.” The former Texas Longhorn displayed both tools in 2009, as he combined to hit 11 HRs and swipe 56 bases in 668 at-bats between Triple-A and Cincinnati. Oddly enough, eight of his long balls came in just 196 at-bats at the big league level.

His power surge has carried over this spring, as the 25-year-old leads his team with five HRs. He’s also batting .315/.373/.759 in 54 at-bats.

While Stubbs’ .269 batting average in 1,588 minor league at-bats suggests this wont last, the Reds’ center fielder has a legitimate shot of hitting 10 to 15 HRs and stealing 40 bases in 2010. In fact, baseball statistician Bill James is predicting 11 bombs and 51 steals.

When comparing these numbers to other 40-steals candidates such as Rajai Davis (161 ADP) and Michael Bourn (104 ADP), Stubbs is clearly a steal (no pun intended).

The most likely choice to bat lead off for the Reds, Stubbs should have plenty of run-scoring opportunities with the likes of Joey Votto, Brandon Phillips, and Jay Bruce batting behind him.

Stubbs is one of my favorite sleeper picks in 2010, and he may still be available in some leagues. If this happens to be the case, scoop him up now while you still can.

FBI Forecast: 550 at-bats, 85 runs, 15 HRs, 60 RBI, 40 stolen bases, .270 batting average


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