Sunday, February 28, 2016


One of the more tried-and-true suggestions when it comes to undertaking a fantasy baseball draft is to avoid selecting guys whose main asset is stolen bases and instead wait until the free agent wire or even into the season to take advantage of the annual influx of guys who help on the bases.  As we move further into this era of pitching dominance, the small ball approach is being emphasized like never before and often that manifests itself in the speed game.  As a result, there is little incentive in drafting stolen base weapons as these guys will appear on the wire all throughout a given season.  Once such player who fit that criteria in 2015 was Oakland A's leadoff speedster Billy Burns.  Presented with a chance to stack his claim to a starting outfielder spot for the first time in his career, burns went out and made the spot all his own by hitting .294, scoring 70 runs, and stealing 26 bases.  Burns overall made the grade as a stable outfielder 3 in fantasy baseball as a result and will look to elevate himself even a bit higher for 2016.  Let's dig in and see if this is possible.

When you look at the 26-year-old Burns, you see a guy who needed a few years to finally get a chance but whose solid and patient approach at the dish helped him become and everyday player.  Burns closely resembles Ben Revere in that he doesn't strike out much (a below-average 14.6 percent last season) which helps him put up very good batting averages and get on base at a nice clip (.334 OBP).  That helps Burns score a solid amount of runs and also put him in position to steal a high number of bases as he did with the 26 he took last season.  Burns is already close to his prime so what you see if probably what you will get moving forward into 2016 but that is still a very solid place to put your outfielder 3 money.  Burns will be the every day leadoff guy for the A's from the jump and that means a .300 average with about 80 runs and maybe as many as 30 steals is likely. 

Overall with Billy Burns, you get a guy who will be a good asset in three categories (runs, steals, and average), while being way below par in home runs and also with his RBI total.  The durability checks out however and again Burns seems like a very stable commodity who won't cost a ton at the draft table. 

2016 PROJECTION:  .302 6 HR 46 RBI 86 R 34 SB 


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