Clicking on the link entitled “Swimsuit” in the header bar might provide you with deeper fantasy baseball analysis than this post will. I won’t be going in depth about a particular player, nor will I be providing sabermetrical (word?) analysis for this post.
I’m simply going to list the players that I think have the best chance of giving fantasy owners 50+ home runs plus steals.
I’ll list them in order of likelihood in my opinion – and I’ll share a few words on if they’ll get the majority of the 50 with their power, with their speed, or with a balanced approach. Previously, I did a list of 20/20 players, but that only adds up 40. We’re taking this list to 50 by letting go of the notion that it needs to be a perfect power/speed balance and allowing the 50 to come from either power or speed, regardless of ratio.
The Best Bets
1. Mike Trout ( Possible 2014 Total: 72) By far the most likely to tally over 50 for fantasy owners, he is also the most balanced name on this list. Trout had 27 homers and 33 steals in 2013 for a grand total of 60. For 2014 I’m guessing he ticks off a few more off both, 31 homers and 41 stolen bases.
2. Carlos Gomez ( Possible 2014 Total: 62) Beating even Trout, GoGo actually had the highest total of homers plus steals in 2013 with 64 (24 homers / 40 stolen bases). I’m guessing his home run total slides back a bit to 20 in 2014, but I don’t doubt the fact he’ll do well on the base paths.
3. Alex Rios ( Possible 2014 Total: 61) Does he still deserve the label of inconsistent player? I don’t think so for 2014. The move to Arlington should do well for his power numbers and although I think he’ll dip some below his 2013 total of 42 stolen bases, he’s still a safe bet for a 50+ HR+SB total.
4. Jacoby Ellsbury ( Possible 2014 Total: 59) 20+ homers was clearly the outlier for Elsbury and we don’t yet know his home in 2014, but he was tops in MLB for steals in 2013. Even pitching in 10 homers in 2014 means he’ll get over 50 HR+SB through his work on the base paths.
5. Andrew McCutchen ( Possible 2014 Total: 57) He also brings a balanced attack but doesn’t quite put up the gaudy numbers that Trout does. He was just under 50+ in 2013, but I think he has a great shot in 2014.
6. Ryan Braun (Possible 2014 Total: 50) 2013 was a lost season, but the talent is still there. Once the off-season distractions die down, he’ll be playing with a chip on his shoulder. While I expect just below 20 steals in 2014, his power should put him over 50.
Those With a Solid Shot
7. Paul Goldschmidt (Possible 2014 Total: 50) Goldy had 51 total in 2013, so with another stellar season he’ll have a chance to crack the 50+ club in 2014 as well.
8. Chris Davis (Possible 2014 Total: 46) Crush had 57 in 2013, but 53 were long balls. If his home run totals fall back to the low 40’s he won’t make it as he won’t contribute any speed. (See also: Miguel Cabrera)
9. Bryce Harper (Possible 2014 Total: 43) If he stops running into walls he has the talent. His will come mostly with power, but he’s also a candidate for 15-20 stolen bases due to his aggressiveness on the base paths.
10. Starling Marte / Jean Segura (Possible 2014 Total: 54) I’m lumping these two together as they both had 12 homers and 40-odd steals in 2013. I think Marte has a better chance of repeating 12 homers than Segura, but both have a solid shot at 50+ HR+SB.
An Outside Chance
11. Edwin Encarnacion (Possible 2014 Total: 42) E5 chips in more steals than you might imagine (7 in 2013). With a 2014 homer total back over 40 and he’s got an outside shot.
12. Carlos Gonzalez (Possible 2014 Total: 47) Cargo is balanced but he won’t go 30+ in any one category, nor will he have the necessary at bats.
13. Jason Kipnis (Possible 2014 Total: 48) He’s shown he has 30+ SB speed, but I’m not fully convinced that his power isn’t capped at 18 or so. Still, that’s mighty close.
14. Adam Jones (Possible 2014 Total: 43) He’s the opposite of Kipnis, in that he’s shown he has 30+ HR power, but I’m not sure he has 20+ stolen bases in him.
New Candidates and Also Rans
15. Alfonso Soriano had 52(!) total in 2103 on on the strength of a surprising 18 stolen bases. His 40/40 days are long past, but he could do well with a full season in Yankee Stadium.
16. Matt Kemp is unlikely to be on the field enough to rack up the type of stats necessary, but he certainly has the talent to do it.
18. George Springer could challenge 25/35 in the majors, but it’s unknown if the Astros will wait until later in the season to call him up, or if he can bring his strikeout totals down. But keep an eye on him for 2015.
There you have it, a whole list of players that could have home run and stolen base totals which added together are over 50. Is there anyone you think I may have left out?