Delino DeShields Leading Off Presents Late Round Value

Rangers Delino Deshields

The news over the weekend that Delino DeShields is slated to lead off for the Rangers when they break camp has the potential to be extremely fantasy relevant. Initially, he was projected to hit 9th which is such a limitation on his upside. I was almost considering him undraftable in standard 10 or 12-team leagues beyond a late flyer in the hope of steals. Now getting lead off, he has the potential of 600 PAs and would likely see him with a chance to score 100-110 runs.

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The comment from Jeff Bannister that DeShields could be a 50 stolen base guy takes his value to another level. He’s never going to be a great guy for average,0.250-0.260ish, but Billy Hamilton can’t hit for a good average and he goes as high as the 5th round with just a handful more steals to his name. DeShields is not a complete negative for power like many other speed guys at the top of the order. He has the upside in that park to reach double digits but anything over five from him in that stat would be a bonus really.

Now we did have some excitement building around DeShields as a lead off hitter last year and he did so badly he soon lost the job. That is a possibility this year for sure but last year the Rangers hadn’t committed quite this strongly which makes me believe the former rule 5 pick is going to have a longer leash.

Cameron Maybin was my late round steals target, and still is, but his move down the projected batting order and this news about DeShields will see DeShields climb above Maybin in my next set of OF rankings. The most likely outcome here is that DeShields is a 30-40 stolen base guy who frustrates owners at times with slumps but in an environment where speed is lacking I think those frustrations will be worth the prize if you take DeShields in your 4th/5th outfield spot.

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