Justin Ruggiano Will Provide Speed for Miami Marlins, Fantasy Baseball Owners

Ryan LesterSenior Writer IJuly 27, 2012

PITTSBURGH, PA - JULY 21: Justin Ruggiano #20 of the Miami Marlins rounds the bases after hitting a home run in the second inning of the game against the Pittsburgh Pirates at PNC Park on July 21, 2012 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images)
Joe Robbins/Getty Images

The Miami Marlins shuffled the deck this week, sending Omar Infante to the Tigers and Hanley Ramirez to the Dodgers. The moves should allow Justin Ruggiano to have his name penciled on the lineup card on a regular basis. If you’re looking for a boost in the stolen base category, Ruggiano may be worth a look.

Ruggiano has stolen seven bases in 44 games and 120 at-bats. His percentage isn’t great, having been caught stealing five times, but he has been active on the basepaths.

While he only had three career stolen bases entering the season, he stole 20-plus in his last four years at the Triple-A level in which he received 250-plus at-bats.

Not only has he been stealing bases, he has been productive at the plate. Ruggiano is hitting .367 with 17 runs, seven home runs and 19 RBI to go along with those seven SBs. His OPS is an absurd 1.113.

A look at his splits is even more impressive.

He is hitting .379 at home with a 1.077 OPS and .355 on the road with a 1.145 OPS. He is hitting .333 with a .954 OPS against right-handed pitching and .417 with a 1.345 OPS against lefties.

Ruggiano is playing over his head with a .446 BABIP, but his career mark is .349 so he should continue to remain lucky.

He is owned in about a quarter of Yahoo! and half of ESPN fantasy leagues. If you are looking for some help from the waiver pool, particularly in stolen bases, Ruggiano may be worth a look. He may not continue to produce across the board, but you might as well ride him while he’s hot.

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