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8 Hitters Who Could Go 30/30

With new rules coming this season that are designed to create more offense, one result we are likely to see is an increase in stolen bases. Some players who were already candidates to swipe 20 or so bags may actually be able to pick up a few more and join the “30/30 Club” (30 home runs and 30 steals).

Pitchers will have limits on the number of times they can step off the rubber, and they will have restrictions on pickoff attempts. Plus, there will be bigger bases to incentivize more stealing.

With all of those changes, here are a few players who may take advantage of them, and in turn, may join the “30/30 Club.”

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Potential 30/30 Hitters

BobbyWitt Jr. – KC SS

Why He Could Go 30/30:

Most projection systems found on Fangraphs already predict Bobby Witt Jr. will steal 30 or more bases. What Witt will have to do to reach the 30/30 mark is to increase his home run total from last season.

Between two minor league levels in 2021, he hit 33 home runs, which goes to show that he has power in the bat – it is just a matter of unlocking it at the major league level. His fly ball rate last season was 46.4%, but his HR/FB rate was just 9.3% after averaging a 19.5% HR/FB rate between AA and AAA in 2021.

If he continues to put balls in the air, and his HR/FB rate begins to match what he did in the minors, we could see an increase from his 2022 home run total of 20 and the 21-25 home runs he projects for this season.

Why He Might Not Go 30/30

Witt does not have the best hard contact data backing up a big power increase. Both his 8.7% barrel rate and 38.6% HardHit rate from last year were just above league average.

There is also a chance he just gets unlucky with his HR/FB rate or potentially sees a decline in his FB%. If either of those things happens, along with possessing a league-average hard contact rate, the 30/30 Club may not be in the cards for Witt this year.

Ronald Acuna Jr. – ATL OF

Why He Could Go 30/30

He’s done it before. In fact, Ronald Acuna Jr. hit 41 home runs and stole 37 bases, albeit in 2019 with the super-happy-fun-ball. His pace in 2021, though, suggests he has a 30/30 season in the tank.

In 360 PAs that year, he launched 24 balls over the fence and tallied 17 steals. Had he not been hurt, he may have joined the 30/30 Club in 2021.

In 2022, Acuna hit 15 homers and swiped 29 bags in just 119 games. He did this after tearing his ACL in 2021, showing that he was not afraid to run on a structurally repaired knee.

With another year removed from the injury, Acuna could see more power come back and may be even more comfortable running. The lowest projected HR and SB totals between all the projection systems on Fangraphs are 24 homers and 28 steals. He could easily reach those totals if he stays healthy.

Why He Might Not Go 30/30

Hard contact is not a worry for Acuna, whose career barrel rate is 14.3% and career HardHit rate is 49.4%. The only real worry is how he will hold up over the entire season.

He has played over 120 games once in four seasons (excluding 2020). As long as he can stay healthy, though, he may be the most likely player on this list to go 30/30.

Jose Ramirez – CLE 3B

Why He Could Go 30/30

Jose Ramirez reached the 30/30 mark in 2018 with 39 home runs and 34 steals. He nearly joined the club again in 2021 after hitting 36 bombs with 27 steals. Surprisingly, Ramirez has done this with below-league average hard contact. His career barrel rate is 6.1% and his career HardHit rate is 35%.

The Cleveland third baseman has also been remarkably healthy, playing in at least 150 games in all but one season (excluding 2020) since 2016. His ceiling for projected homers in Fangraphs is 31, while his projected stolen base ceiling is 30. He could absolutely surpass those numbers.

Why He Might Not Go 30/30

Why he might not surpass those numbers is that he has only reached 30 steals once in six seasons of over 500 PAs. In those seasons, he has reached at least 29 home runs four times, making it more likely for him to reach 30 homers than 30 steals.

Shohei Ohtani – LAA SP/UT

Why He Could Go 30/30

He might be able to go 30/30 because he is Shohei Ohtani and there is nothing he cannot do. The Angels finally gave him a longer leash in 2021 to hit more often, including days where he pitched. That resulted in a 46/26 season in 2021 and a 34/11 season in 2022.

Ohtani is one of the hardest hitters in baseball, with a 16.2% barrel rate and a 49.6% HardHit rate in his five MLB seasons. He is one of the very few players who could realistically hit 50 home runs.

The new rules may also encourage the Angels to let Ohtani run more than last season. He stole 11 bases, but was caught stealing nine times. This shows that if 20 attempts is his baseline, he could turn that into more this season and could benefit from the bigger bases.

Why He Might Not Go 30/30

As a dual-threat player, Ohtani has double the chance of being injured. He has already suffered multiple injuries in his MLB career, which shortened both his 2018 and 2019 seasons.

Additionally, the Angels my want to be cautious with him on the basepaths to keep their best player healthy. This could limit his stolen base upside.

Fernando Tatis Jr. – SD SS/OF

Why He Could Go 30/30

If Fernando Tatis Jr. was not going to start the season suspended, he may be the most likely 30/30 candidate over Acuna.

Tatis hits the ball insanely hard, with an 18.2% barrel rate and a 53.5% HardHit rate for his career. Additionally, his career fly ball rate is 36.1% and his career HR/FB rate is 31.4%. He does not put the ball in the air a ton, but nearly a third of the time he does, the ball leaves the park.

Every projection on Fangraphs predicts Tatis will hit over 30 home runs, which is no surprise considering his hard contact stats. His projected ceiling for steals is 26. If a few things go right for him, that stolen base total could creep up into the 30s.

Why He Might Not Go 30/30

He has not done in yet, and mostly because he has trouble staying healthy. Tatis’ shoulder has partially dislocated on more than one occasion. Because he is so aggressive, he carries a constant risk of re-injury.

On top of that, he will begin the year suspended until April 20. That could limit the opportunities he has to steal.

Oneil Cruz – PIT  SS

Why He Could Go 30/30

Oneil Cruz possesses a great deal of power, posting a 15.5% barrel rate and a 45.6% HardHit rate in 361 PAs in 2022. Those hard contact numbers resulted in 17 home runs, with Cruz picking up 10 steals along the way.

He made 14 stolen base attempts during his 87-game stint in the majors, and could presumably make more attempts in 2023 with a full season ahead for him.

Why He Might Not Go 30/30

For a player that hits the ball extremely hard and has huge home run upside, he hits the ball on the ground more than he should. Between all levels from 2016-2022, Cruz posted a groundball rate of under 45% just once. It came in a 6-game stop at Pittsburgh’s AAA affiliate in 2021.

His high groundball rate, along with a high strikeout rate – 34.9% last year – could result in a low OBP, limiting his opportunities to steal.

Kyle Tucker – HOU OF

Why He Could Go 30/30

Tucker reached 30 homers two seasons in a row, in 2021 and 2022. He went from 14 steals in 16 attempts in 2021, to 25 steals in 29 attempts in 2022. With the rule changes in 2023, he could continue to increase his attempts, as well as his stolen base total.

A solid 10.4% barrel rate and a 44.5% HardHit rate for his career suggests that he should continue to hit for power. He also hits in a very deep lineup and gets on base 33.5% of the time for his career, so he should have plenty of opportunities to run.

That OBP may increase this season since there will be no shift, something he has been a victim of over his career.

Why He Might Not Go 30/30

He simply may not attempt enough steals to reach 30. The Bat projects him for 25 steals, the most out of all the projection systems on Fangraphs. It also gives him the lowest projected home run total of the bunch at 26.

Marcus Semien – TEX 2B

Why He Could Go 30/30

Marcus Semien has played in at least 150 games in seven of his nine major league seasons (not counting 2020, when he missed just seven games). In his career, he has reached at least 30 homers twice. He also has a season of 27 homers in 2016 and 26 homers in 2022.

Semien had a career high 25 steals in 2022, which he reached in 33 attempts. With an improving offense in Texas, plus the rule changes, Semien may have the green light to continue to run. That, combined with the power potential he possesses, could very well result in Semien joining the 30/30 club.

Why He Might Not Go 30/30

Semien has just a 6.1% barrel rate and a 34.4% HardHit rate for his career, and his rates from last season were both below league average.

Even with the second-best strikeout rate of his career last year at 16.6%, he does not walk very much and has struggled to get on base in his career. He has just two seasons since 2013 with an OBP over .330, and in both of them, he had over 30 home runs to buoy the OBP.

His limitations in discipline and getting on base could result in limitations to his steals total. Plus, his hard contact could also keep him from hitting 30 home runs.

Julio Rodriguez – SEA OF

Why He Could Go 30/30

By the end of June 2022, Julio Rodriguez had totaled 13 home runs and 19 steals. While his home run total increased to 28 over the final three months of the season, his stolen base pace slowed down.

He swiped just two bags in each of July, August, and September, giving him 25 on the year. Perhaps if he was not caught stealing seven times, he may have reached 30 stolen bases.

He may have also met the 30/30 mark in 2022 if he had more than 132 games played. He will likely play more games and have more at-bats in 2023 as long as he stays healthy.

Rodriguez posted an elite 13.1% barrel rate and a 50.7% HardHit rate in 2023. He also managed a .345 OBP despite chasing the ball 37.1% of the time and striking out nearly 26% of the time.

It is clear that Rodriguez has the power to launch 30 homers, and several projection systems predict he will do so. And he may increase his stolen base total this season with more opportunities to steal.

Why He Might Not Go 30/30

Rodriguez has some discipline issues that could keep him from reaching base enough to accumulate 30 steals.

He also had a 46% groundball rate last year, and combined with a high K%, that could result in a low OBP and fewer stolen base attempts and homers.

He also had a 71.2% contact rate, which was 11th worst in baseball among qualified batters in 2022.

Those discipline data points, and the high groundball rate, could limit his production in 2023


There have been just two 30/30 players since 2019, when both Acuna and Christian Yelich went 40/30. But if there was any season where multiple players could join the 30/30 club, it would be this year.

And if there were any players who could do it, it would be these eight batters.

For more great analysis check out the 2023 FantraxHQ Fantasy Baseball Draft Kit!

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