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Texas Rangers

For the past four seasons, the Texas Rangers were managed by the original stolen-base-ist, Buck Showalter.  From 2003 to 2006, his teams stole 65, 69 ,67 and 53 bases.  That ranked 13th, 11th, 10th and 13th in the American League, respectively.

With a new manager in place, Ron Washington, I advised fantasy owners to expect the Rangers to run more if only because Showalter didn't run on principal.  Through 31 games this year, the Rangers have swiped 27 bases tied for 2nd with the Angels (27) and trailing the leaders, Twins (28) and Devil Rays (28), by one swipe.

After being lead by Ian Kinsler's 11 SBs, the Rangers already have one player, Kenny Lofton, with 11 SBs, and three others (Hank Blalock, Ian Kinsler and Michael Young) who are on pace for 15-20.  Even Brad Wilkerson is on pace to return to the double-digit steals he had a few years ago.

With 20% of the season in the books, the projections for final stolen base totals for any one player is tenuous because of a multiplier effect of five i.e a player with two SBs is on pace for 10, one with three SBs is on pace for 15, but there is little room for argument that the Rangers are running more.  If a player is recalled with some notable minor league speed, then he will get a chance to use it.  That was not a safe assumption under Buck Showalter.