Emilio Bonifacio Tops List of 10 Best Base-Stealers in MLB Today
Base stealing has become more and more popular in the last decade as players are getting faster and are more willing to attempt a stolen base.
Base stealing is one of the most important aspects of the game today. A runner can get into scoring position or nullify the double play ball by stealing a base.
It is always fun watching a major league player show off his wheels and swipe a bag, so you may wonder: Who is the best base-stealer in the game today?
That is why I'm here—I ranked the top 10 base-stealers.
Feel free to discuss who you think is the best.
10. Desmond Jennings
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Desmond Jennings is currently dealing with an injured knee, but when he is healthy, he is always a threat with his legs.
Jennings has eight stolen bases and has only been caught once so far this year.
Jennings' career high for stolen bases is 20; however, this is the first year that Jennings is an every day player. Expect Jennings to swipe about 35 to 40 bases this year.
9. Jason Heyward
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When you think of a feared base-stealer, I'm sure you think of a small, speedy guy. Well, Jason Heyward defies that notion.
Heyward is listed at 6'5" 240lbs, but don't let that make you think he can't run. Heyward has nine stolen bases on the year, and since he is getting on base more often, he will have more opportunities to steal.
Braves manager Fredi González has shown he will let his players run, so expect Heyward to end the season with a high stolen base total.
8. Jordan Schafer
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Jordan Schafer is one of the most underrated baserunners in the league.
He is tied for fourth in the league with 11 stolen bases and has only been caught three times. However, he has struggled at getting on base, and that has limited his opportunities to steal.
If Schafer could raise his on base percentage (.329), then he could steal a lot more bases because his acceleration and speed are among the best in the league.
7. Dee Gordon
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Dee Gordon is your traditional get-on-however-you-can-and-just-run-the-bases guy.
He is listed at 5'11" 150lbs and has shown off-the-charts speed but has trouble getting on base. He lacks contact hitting, which is a shame because he could be at the top of the league in stolen bases if he had more chances.
He only gets on base 24.8 percent of the time and already has 12 stolen bases.
Imagine how many stolen bases he could have with a .300 OBP.
6. Shane Victorino
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Shane Victorino is having his best year on the basepaths.
Over the last three years, Victorino has averaged 26 SBs, but he already has 11 SBs this year. That is on pace for 48 SBs for the 31-year-old!
5. Starlin Castro
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He may be the biggest surprise on the list.
Castro is becoming one of the best shortstops in the league, and the fact that he can now steal bases only makes him deadlier.
Castro gets some of the best jumps, and his speed is among the league's best. He already has 12 stolen bases—tied for second in the league—and if he maintains this pace, he will smash his career high of 22 SBs.
4. Jose Reyes
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I know what your saying, "How is Jose Reyes not in the top three?"
Look at the stats, and it's evident that Reyes is having a down year on the basepaths.
He only has nine stolen bases and has already been caught stealing four times.
Ozzie Guillen is known for letting his players run on the basepaths, so I still expect Reyes to finish in the top five in SBs because he's shown he has some of the fastest legs in the league.
3. Michael Bourn
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Michael Bourn has averaged 58 SBs over the last three years. That alone should tell you he is one of the best base-stealers in the league.
I seriously considered moving Bourn up to number two on this list, but Bourn has already been caught stealing five times out of 16 chances this year. That is very unusual for the speedster.
Bourn is having one of his best hitting years, and the more he gets on base, the more SBs he'll have, since he's a threat every time he's on base.
2. Cameron Maybin
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In my mind, Cameron Maybin is the most underrated base-stealer in the game today.
He is tall at 6'3", but he is still one of the fastest players in the league. He gets great jumps, has good acceleration and sometimes beats throws by a couple of feet.
Maybin had 40 SBs last year, which might surprise some people because that is more than Jose Reyes, Jimmy Rollins and Andrew McCutchen. He has 11 SBs this year and has been caught only once.
He will soon become very well-known if he keeps up that pace.
1. Emilio Bonifacio
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Was there any question about this one?
Bonifacio is a perfect 19-for-19 in stolen base attempts this year, and he is on pace for 85. 85!
Bonifacio has all of the tools to be a great base-stealer: He gets great jumps, has the best acceleration and has top notch speed.
Even when everyone in the whole park knows Bonifacio is about to steal and the pitcher throws a pitchout, the catcher still can't throw out Bonifacio because he is so quick.
Bonifacio has proven he is the best base-stealer in the game, and if he raises his on base percentage (.352), it would give him more chances to steal.
I would not be surprised if he pushes hard towards 100 stolen bases for the year.