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20 Players Who Can Go 20/20 in 2020

As home runs and strikeouts have increased to record heights year over year, the stolen base is becoming something of a lost art. There was an average of 2984.8 steals per season from 2010-2014. That number has dropped to 2464.6 over the past five seasons. However, the number of 20/20 seasons has not fallen off much. There were 43 such seasons over the first half of the 2010s and 41 from 2015 on. That comes out to an average of 8.4 per year over the last decade. I think there are a much higher number of players who can reach that threshold this season. So I am going to choose 20 players who can reach this elusive plateau. 20 is a nice round number and ties in well. 20 players. 20 homers. 20 steals. In 2020. Chef kiss.

Some of the names on this list are fairly obvious and some may cause you to scratch your head. I hope they all make you think at least a little. There are perennial stars who are not on this list, such as Mike Trout and Mookie Betts. It’s not that I don’t think they have any chance of getting to 20 stolen bases this season. I just think that given some of the factors involved (sprint speed, other speed, and baserunning metrics, manager’s tendencies, etc.), they will fall a bit short of the 20 stolen base threshold this year. Other speedsters like Adalberto Mondesi, Victor Robles, and Oscar Mercado fell just short for me in the power department.

I grouped the players on this list by ADP rather than by projections in any one category because you will see that there are a few players on this list who can still be had at a relative discount as we approach the final days of draft season. The first few players require less of an explanation or justification than some of the later ones, so strap in.

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20 Players Who Can Go 20/20 in 2020

Rounds 1-4: The Usual Suspects

Ronald Acuna Jr. (ADP – 1.87)

Ronald Acuna Jr. had 41 homers and 37 steals in his first full big-league season in 2019. If I had to bet my theoretical bankroll on one player accomplishing this feat in 2020, it is the Braves’ budding superstar. Ron Shandler’s Baseball Forecaster credits Acuna with a 139 xPX (expected linear weighted power index) and a 140 Spd (statistically scouted speed as defined by Ed DeCaria). It does not get much better than that when looking for a player who provides the ultimate speed/power combo.

Christian Yelich (ADP – 3.33)

Christian Yelich is probably the most obvious name on this list. The 2018 National League MVP has the third-most home runs and seventh-most steals in all of baseball during his two-year tenure in Milwaukee. He is the only player to total 80 dingers and 50 thefts in that span. Yelich is among a few on this list who are seeking their third straight 20/20 season, a feat last accomplished by Mike Trout and Mookie Betts from 2016-2018.

Francisco Lindor (ADP – 8.87)
Jose Ramirez (ADP – 20.84)

The dynamic duo that mans the left side of Cleveland’s infield seems like solid choices to make this list. After all, both Francisco Lindor and Jose Ramirez have gone 20/20 in each of the past two seasons. They accomplished the feat in 2019 despite a bit of adversity. Lindor missed the first three weeks of the season with calf and ankle injuries. Ramirez was hitting just .214 at the end of June before turning his season around. Still, their inclusion here is primarily a byproduct of them having the trust of manager Terry Francona on the basepaths.
Neither Lindor nor Ramirez has ranked in the top 100 players in Statcast’s sprint speed in any season since Lindor finished 85th as a 22-year old rookie in 2015. Each finished outside the top 180 in that metric last year. However, they have both maintained a very healthy SBO (stolen base opportunity percent) in both 2018 and 2019. Lindor registered a 19 percent SBO in 2018 and a 20 percent mark last year. Ramirez posted a 22 percent SBO in 2018 and a 24 percent rate last season. For reference, Christian Yelich has stolen 20-plus bases three times but has just one season with an SBO of higher than 15 percent. As long as they are buoyed by Francona’s faith, they have a chance to become the first set of teammates in Major League history to record three consecutive 20/20 seasons.

Trevor Story (ADP – 12.55)

Trevor Story is the only player besides Christian Yelich to total at least 70 homers and 50 steals over the last two years. He carries a top-40 sprint speed and has had an SBO of at least 20 percent in back-to-back years. Story’s natural talent on the basepaths is aided playing for Bud Black, who is notorious for his green light. Per Baseball-Reference, only David Bell has a higher Rate+ (league-adjusted steal of 2nd rate) among current big-league skippers. As for the home runs… well, I think a hitter who boasts a top-50 average exit velocity and fly ball rate and a top-40 hard-hit rate who happens to play half of his games in Coors Field can somehow find a way to eke out 20 homers. Story could easily flirt with a 40/30 season if things break right.

Trea Turner (ADP – 15.71)

The stolen bases are essentially a lock for Trea Turner. He has 159 career stolen bases in just 482 games played. Turner had baseball’s second-fastest sprint speed and a 29 percent SBO% last season. Dave Martinez is one of the most aggressive managers in the game when it comes to base stealing. A 50-plus stolen base season is firmly within Turner’s grasp. The question becomes whether he can provide enough pop to get to 20/20. He has fallen exactly one home run short in each of the last two years. Turner had a solid 41.5 percent hard-hit rate and 90.3 average exit velocity in 2019. It will probably be a sweat into September, but I think Turner will finally get that elusive 20th home run in 2020 and join this club for the first time in his career.

Fernando Tatis Jr. (ADP – 22.09)

I have been leery of drafting Fernando Tatis Jr. at his current ADP because I believe he is in store for some regression. During the Statcast Era, no player has had a larger difference in BA-xBA (batting average minus expected batting average) than Tatis Jr did in 2019. Having said that, Tatis Jr. possesses a rare blend of power (126 xPX) and speed (189 Spd). He had 22 home runs and 16 stolen bases in just over half a season as a rookie last season. Even if his average drops into the .275 range, Tatis Jr. has enough raw talent to produce at a high level. He should be able to put together a 20/20 season as long as he can remain on the field.

Starling Marte (ADP – 41.43)

I am tempted to replace Starling with Ketel as my favorite Marte, at least for this list. After all, it is Ketel who has a higher PX, xPX, and Spd than his new teammate. However, Ketel is simply too passive on the bases. In three seasons in the desert, Ketel has never eclipsed an eight percent SBO. Starling has never been shy about trying to steal bases. The former Pirate has had an SBO of at least 25 percent in every season. That may change now that he is on the other side of 30. 89 percent of 20/20 seasons during the last decade have come from players 30 and younger. Also, Torey Lovullo is not known for an attacking style on the bases. But Starling is among the safest bets in the game to make another go at a 20/20 campaign.

Rounds 5-9: New Blood

Austin Meadows (ADP – 49.73)

Austin Meadows was one of the biggest bargains in all of fantasy baseball last season. The Rays provided Meadows with consistent playing time at the big league level and he did not disappoint. Meadows socked 33 home runs and stole 12 bases. Though the 12 steals are a bit worrisome given this endeavor, I believe he can improve on his baserunning and reach 20 this season. He has decent enough sprint speed and an above-average Spd as well. Manager Kevin Cash likes to push the envelope on the basepaths, but the Rays lack speed on their roster. I think Meadows could be tasked with trying to steal a few more bases in 2020. Some early success in that area could go a long way towards Meadows ending up in the 20/20 club by season’s end.

Keston Hiura (ADP – 53.47)

I do not recall seeing anyone calling for Keston Hiura to have a 20/20 season (apologies if I missed it), which I found a bit odd because I do not consider myself overly high on him. But I do think he has a good shot at making his way into this group. Hiura hit 38 home runs between Triple-A and the Majors in 2019, and his batted ball metrics suggest his power surge in 2019 was no fluke. I guess I believe in his ability to steal bases more than most people seem to.
I will concede that his sprint speed was bad last year. Really bad. Like, Pedro Severino bad. And he needs to improve his contact rate. A 30.7 percent strikeout rate and 17.5 percent swinging strike are not going to lead to many opportunities for stolen bases. However, Hiura has 27 stolen bases over his last 214 games across three levels of baseball. That equates to a per-162 game pace of – you guessed it – 20.4 stolen bases. Craig Counsell is neck-and-neck with Nationals skipper Dave Martinez for the unofficial title of Most Aggressive Manager – Stolen Base Edition. Hiura had a 16 percent SBO last year. If that mark approaches 20 percent this season, Hiura has a shot to end up with 20 steals. That may be on the high side of Hiura’s range of outcomes given the holes in his swing. However, I do think he can get there.

Bo Bichette (ADP – 71.95)

Some may see that Bo Bichette only stole four bases in 46 games and blindly decide that he cannot steal bases. That is simply not the case. Bichette has stolen at least 20 total bases in each of the last three seasons. The speed is there, as are the opportunities. Bichette sported a 28 percent SBO last season. His leash may be a bit shorter after failing on half of his eight stolen base attempts. But he should have plenty of chances to run hitting in front of Cavan Biggio. Biggio is not afraid to work a count, so Bichette will be able to put himself into scoring position via the stolen base. I think his batting average may take a slight hit compared to last year’s .311 mark, but he has enough juice in his bat to get to 20 homers.

Luis Robert (ADP – 96.81)

It is not often that a player with zero innings played at the Major League level would be on a list like this Then again, Luis Robert is no ordinary prospect. In just 122 games played over three levels, the Cuban crushed 32 home runs and stole 36 bases. That pace seems unlikely at best to hold in the Majors. Even if we cut those rates in half, Robert would be on the cusp of 20/20 status for a full season. Teammate Eloy Jimenez has likened Robert to Mike Trout, so expectations will be high from day one. If Chicago signs free agent Yasiel Puig, Robert’s playing time could be cut just enough to reduce the odds of him reaching this threshold. But if he gets 550 plate appearances, I believe he can become the fourth rookie in history to get to 20/20.

Ramon Laureano (ADP – 99.63)

Ramon Laureano was one of 2019’s biggest breakouts before a shin injury cost him roughly six weeks of action. Before his injury, he was on a per-162 pace of about 18 stolen bases. Following his injury, he attempted just one steal in 16 games. Despite the injury setback, Laureano finished the year 21st in both BsR (baserunning) and wSB (weighted stolen base runs) per Fangraphs. I think with a clean bill of health, Laureano will be a bit more aggressive when it comes to stealing bases. He stole 18 bases in 112 games between Triple-A and Oakland in 2018, so I believe that 20 stolen bases are well within his reach.
The former Astros product does not have prodigious power, but he has above-average pop in his bat. Laureano finally found his power stroke in 2019 and launched 24 long balls. He has a career 10-percent barrel rate and a 40.8 percent hard-hit rate. Those numbers are likely to hold steady or improve with a little more seasoning in the Majors. Laureano should be a solid all-around contributor in fantasy and has a real good chance of entering the 20/20 club if he can get a full complement of plate appearances.

Rounds 10 and Up: Repeats and Reaches

Tommy Pham (ADP – 112.07)

Tommy Pham has exactly 65 home runs and 65 stolen bases over the last three years. His batted ball data is well above the league average during the Statcast Era (2015-2019). Pham is a solid contributor in every fantasy category and will likely now slide in between Fernando Tatis Jr. and Manny Machado in what should be a difficult top of the order to navigate in San Diego. It must be noted that only five of the 84 20/20 seasons that have been produced over the last decade have been from a player who is at least 32 years old. But, like Starling Marte, Pham has not lost a step on the bases. His sprint speed has ranged from 28.5-28.7 feet/second in each of the last five years. Pham’s feet will fail him eventually, but I would not bet on it happening in 2020.

Tim Anderson (ADP – 122.07)

Consider this a further reminder of how deep shortstop is this season: Tim Anderson posted a 20/20 season in 2018. He won the American League batting title in 2019. And he is the 11th shortstop going off the board per our ADP. Anderson greatly outperformed many of his metrics last season. That is the prevailing answer as to why he is not valued as a top-tier fantasy shortstop. But he did go 20/20 in 2018 while posting a .240 batting average and .281 on-base percentage. Even if his batting average regresses as expected, his standing as a dual-threat is warranted. However, I will acknowledge a couple of issues that make me a little nervous about adding Anderson to this group.
First, his Statcast metrics are pedestrian at best. His batted ball data is nothing to write home about, and the odds of him hitting .335 again are slim and none. He has never had an xPX of over 86. 100 is average, so 86 or less is not ideal for power. His SBO has also fluctuated wildly in recent years. It was 14 percent in 2017, then shot up to 30 percent in 2018, then dipped back down to 16 percent this past year. I am inclined to believe that 2018 was an anomaly. However, he has shown he can hit for average, and manager Rick Renteria leans a little towards the aggressive side with his baserunners. I would say 15/15 is far more likely than 20/20, but Anderson has defied the odds before.

Cavan Biggio (ADP – 124.65)

Cavan Biggio is one of the most interesting players in the entire player pool in my opinion. First, let’s look at some of his metrics regarding power. Biggio led 260 qualified hitters in SwSp% (sweet spot percentage), edging out some guy named Trout. This is the percentage of batted balls with a launch angle of between eight and 32 degrees. Among 207 hitters with at least 400 plate appearances, he had the second-lowest ground ball rate and the 18th highest pull rate. As a result, Biggio registered a 151 in xPX. Of the 10 hitters who eclipsed the 40-home run mark in 2019, half had a lower xPX than Biggio. That does not mean Biggio will crack 40 bombs this year, but the power potential is certainly there.
Biggio finished in the 77th percentile in sprint speed last year and has good instincts on the basepaths. He registered a rather low 11 percent SBO but was perfect on 14 stolen base attempts last season. In the previously mentioned sample of 207 hitters who registered at least 400 plate appearances last year, Biggio finished 11th in Fangraphs’ wSB metric and 20th in BsR. Combine that with the third-highest line drive rate and fourth-highest walk rate and you have a player who should be able to steal 20-25 bases. Biggio has immense upside in Points and OBP leagues and carries multi-positional eligibility to boot. Best yet is that fantasy owners can still grab him in the 10th or 11th round. I would not at all be surprised to see Cavan Biggio post a 20/20 season in his first full big-league campaign.

Shohei Ohtani (ADP – 126.85)

If Biggio is the most interesting player in the pool, Shohei Ohtani may be a close second. He is a longshot to put together a 20/20 season, most notably because his plate appearances will likely be capped around the 450-500 mark. Plus there is always the added risk of him sustaining an injury considering his time on the mound. But I wanted to highlight him because I think people sleep on Ohtani’s prowess in the running game. Ohtani had a faster sprint speed than Jonathan Villar last season. Yes, the same Jonathan Villar who stole 40 bases. He also outpaced Villar by a healthy margin in Spd. I would argue that if Ohtani never threw a pitch and instead approached 600 plate appearances, he could steal 25-30 bases.
His contributions in the power department have never been questioned. Ohtani has 40 career home runs in just under 800 plate appearances. That is a better rate than Juan Soto. Soto and Ohtani were nearly identical last year in average exit velocity on line drives and fly balls, hard-hit percentage, and barrels. He does not have Soto’s discipline at the plate, but few do. Ohtani reminds me a bit of Javier Baez as an offensive player. Baez maxed out at 34 homers and 21 steals in 2018, but that was in 645 plate appearances. If Ohtani gets 75 percent of the plate appearances, he will probably put up 75 percent of that production. That would put him around 25/15, but I do think the potential is there for him to steal 20 bases in a best-case scenario.

Danny Santana (ADP – 147.87)

Danny Santana had a 2019 breakout season that nobody saw coming. It may have been as simple as seeing full-time at-bats for the first time in his Major League life, but Santana exhibited power that he had not previously shown at the big league level. Before last year, he had just 13 career home runs in nearly 1200 plate appearances. Last season, his average exit velocity was 20th among 225 hitters with at least 250 batted ball events, and he finished in the top 50 in both hard-hit rate and average exit velocity on fly balls and line drives. Rangers manager Chris Woodward recently confirmed that Santana will start the season in center field. That could afford him enough opportunities to see if he can repeat his prolific power numbers from a season ago. A hot start may result in another 20-plus home run season.
Santana’s speed seems to be less in doubt, though his base-stealing exploits are more the result of an aggressive approach than blazing speed in and of itself. Only in 2015 did Santana finish among the top 150 hitters in sprint speed according to Baseball Savant. However, he has stolen 69 bases in less than 500 career games. He has had an SBO of 25 percent or higher in every season in the league, which has helped him maximize his opportunities. Much of the skepticism surrounding Santana is baked into his current cost, making him a solid mid-round pick. He carries multi-positional eligibility and can be a valuable piece, both in terms of positional flexibility and a balanced array of categorical contributions.

Byron Buxton (ADP – 191.21)

It seems like we have been waiting for Byron Buxton to break out forever. Given our relative impatience as a community, it is easy to forget that Buxton is still just 26 years old and has just 1,369 Major League plate appearances under his belt. Injuries have played a major role in his reduced playing time, and that is always a concern with the former number-two overall draft pick. But Buxton made some tangible gains last season that many seem to be ignoring.
I am going to throw out 2018 and focus on last year versus 2017. In 2017, Buxton had an 11.8 percent launch angle and a 32.3 percent hard-hit rate. The result was an average exit velocity of just 85.0 MPH and a 5.6 percent barrel rate. Buxton experienced sizable gains in all of those categories in 2019. His launch angle increased to 19.5 and he upped his hard-hit rate to 38.7 percent. That led to an average velocity of 89.3 MPG and a barrel rate of 8.3 percentage. All of those numbers were in the upper half of hitters who had at least 200 batted ball events. Still not convinced? OK. Here are the numbers I just mentioned against a random player. (Newsflash – it’s not a random player. I’m proving a point.)
Buxton – 19.5 degree LA, 38.7 hard-hit %, 89.3 AEV, 8.3 barrel %
Player B – 19.6 degree LA, 37.5 hard hit %, 89.3 AEV, 5.4 barrel %
Player B is Alex Bregman. That would be the same Alex Bregman who hit 41 home runs a season ago. I am not saying Buxton is the all-around hitter Bregman is. Much like the Ohtani/Soto comp, Bregman’s plate discipline is off the charts, whereas Buxton’s leaves much to be desired. If only they had trash cans in Minnesota… The power may be an issue, as he is still working his way back from a torn labrum in his left shoulder. However, owners appear to be brushing aside Buxton’s improved batted ball skills. 20-25 home runs are well within his range. Health permitting, of course.
If he plays anything close to a full season, Buxton is a virtual lock to reach the stolen base threshold. He ranked third in MLB in sprint speed in 2019. It was the worst finish in his career thus far in that metric. He also carried a massive 37 percent SBO last year. Buxton can steal 20 bags in his sleep as long as he plays 100 games and hits above the Mendoza line. Buxton is worth his current price given the potential of continued gains in a stacked Twins lineup.

Scott Kingery (ADP – 191.48)

I did not expect to have Scott Kingery on this list when I initially started working on this piece. If I was going to highlight 10 or even 15 players, I would likely have omitted him. But I started digging to try to find a player who was going under the radar and Kingery kept popping up. It was almost like those awful rom-coms when the protagonist realizes that the platonic friend turns out to be the person they should end up with. Perhaps I was still scarred by 2018 when Kingery stumbled to a .226/.267/.338 line after spending the spring as a popular sleeper in fantasy circles. But a funny thing happened on the way to Kingery being a bust who would never reach his potential. He put up the kind of season in 2019 that many of us had expected from him the year prior.

Kingery reminds me a lot of Buxton in the sense that his 2019 gains are going largely ignored. Could it be that our standards and expectations are simply too high? While players like Tatis and Hiura made immediate impacts, Kingery’s ascension into fantasy relevance was more subtle. Maybe that has led us to believe it didn’t happen. But it did. He improved his barrel percentage from 5.1 to 8.0 and added roughly three MPH to his average exit velocity. His hard-hit rate went from 30.7 to 38.9 percent. He also maintained his top-50 sprint speed. The result was a 2019 season which saw Kingery hit 19 home runs and steal 15 bases in exactly 500 plate appearances. Kingery was one of 25 players to record at least 15 homers and steals last season.
He plays all over the field, which means he will be in the lineup frequently. Kingery is also likely to start the season in the leadoff spot vacated by Andrew McCutchen. The veteran is still recovering from his ACL injury. If Kingery can avoid chasing pitches and improve his contact, he has a chance to stick atop a potent Phillies lineup. I believe the 25-year old has another level to his game, and this could be a breakout that receives the proper fanfare.

For more great rankings, strategy, and analysis check out the 2020 FantraxHQ Fantasy Baseball Draft Kit. We’ll be adding more content from now right up until Opening Day!

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  1. Yendry says

    Falta José Altuve en la lista.

    1. Mick Ciallela says

      Thank you for reading and commenting. His SB are going in the wrong direction. 32-17-6 last three years. I think he will get more than 6 but less than 20. I have him at 13.

  2. Ron Grant says

    IN a keeper league I am holding 6 players the first 5 are set but i am conflicted between biggio and castellanos. Your thoughts?

    1. Mick Ciallela says

      Hi Ron. I like them both a lot so it’s a good problem to have. I’m gonna go with Biggio because he’s younger and more versatile but if you’re competing for this season and need BA/HR/RBI I’m fine with Castellanos.

  3. Mike says

    Did I miss Oscar Mercado?

    1. mike says

      never mind.. i skipped to the names 1st.. I see Oscar now.

    2. Mick Ciallela says

      If I had written this a week ago, he probably would have made it. But the uncertainty about his wrist injury scares me a little.

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