Speed is known to peak early in a player’s baseball development, with the highest stolen base totals of a player’s career arriving during his early 20s. This causes a significant amount of turnover amongst the yearly SB leaderboard, as it’s rare for a player to maintain elite speed for very long. However, there are always specimens who manage to steal a healthy dose into their 30s but eventually, everyone succumbs to father time. Jacoby Ellsbury is the latest player to drop off from elite SB status after being a mainstay on yearly lists in the past. For 2016, these are the 10 players most likely to lead the league in stolen bases.
10. Jarrod Dyson (Kansas City Royals)
Expected to finally land a full-time starting gig following the departure of Ben Zobrist to free agency, Jarrod Dyson has as much upside as anybody in the league when it comes to stealing bases. Dyson has stolen 96 bases over the last three seasons, despite sporadic playing time and a woeful on-base percentage (OBP) when he does get a chance to play. With a full season of at-bats, Dyson realistically has a 60-SB pace as a precedent set over his yearly data. Unfortunately, Dyson suffered an oblique strain during Spring Training and is poised to miss a large chunk of April. When he returns, it’s possible that young Reymond Fuentes may have played well enough to force a platoon in right field. Manager Ned Yost has declined the opportunity for more playing time for Dyson in the past and it should not be assumed that Dyson is guaranteed those starts this time around. Plate discipline may be too much for him to overcome, but if Dyson ever gets a full season of plate appearances, his stolen base total would likely impress.