Should we expect new members in the 30/30 club?
Three players are close to a pace for both 30 homers and 30 steals, but they're not who you would expect to join such elite company.
We haven't seen a 30-30 season since 2012, and over the last 10 years, only 13 players have totaled 30 homers and 30 stolen bases in a season for a combined 16 times. Three players currently have five homers and five steals, putting them within reach of a 30-30 pace.
Mike Trout, Matt Kemp and Ian Kinsler -- recent inductees to the club -- are not among them, though with six home runs and four stolen bases, Trout is close. Certainly a month ago, you probably would not have guessed that Brian Dozier, Charlie Blackmon and Jonathan Villar would be the only players with five homers and five steals just over five weeks into the season. Dozier and Blackmon are close to being universally started in CBSSports.com leagues, while Villar is owned in merely 61 percent of our leagues and starting in 49 percent.
But does this mean that Fantasy owners are going overboard on Dozier and Blackmon or that Villar deserves more respect?
Dozier was an inefficient base stealer in the first half of last season, but after going 6 for 7 in the second half, it's plausible that Twins manager Ron Gardenhire is more comfortable letting his leadoff hitter run. It's Dozier's power that is more surprising, as he hit all of 18 home runs last season and had never finished with double-digit home runs in the minors. Dozier's power was streaky last season, as he hit six homers in August and five in June, so don't be surprised if he goes for long stretches with little home run power.
On the other hand, Dozier is 1 for 35 on flyballs in play, so he shouldn't be stuck on one double for long. There's another 30-plus doubles season in that bat.
Like Dozier, a leadoff role and knack for efficiency should allow Blackmon to keep piling up steals. He has hit all seven of his homers at Coors Field, but as hitter-friendly as his home park is, it's unlikely that Blackmon will maintain a .386 Isolated Power at home. Blackmon could easily eclipse 30 steals, but it's not a given that he'll finish as a 20-20 club member, much less 30-30.
Villar's steals are no surprise to Fantasy owners, and they are the reason why he was drafted in most of his leagues. With 36 home runs over 339 games in the Astros' minor league system, Villar showed the upside of a hitter who could eventually be a 20-homer threat. A 30-homer season is probably not in the cards for Villar, but he has an outside shot for a 20-40 campaign. Villar's seven doubles look far more suspicious, as he is slugging 1.833 on line drives (including five doubles), as compared to the major league average of a 1.013 slugging percentage on liners (according to Baseball-Reference.com).
Even with a lower doubles rate, Villar -- like Dozier and Blackmon -- is worth starting in virtually all Rotisserie formats as long as he can produce 15 home runs, 40 steals and a .235 batting average. His high strikeout rate and mediocre walk rate, however, still render him as a poor option for points leagues.
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