On Tuesday night, Chase Headley stole 3 bases vs the Giants and the battery of Jonathan Sanchez/Eli Whiteside. He is batting cleanup for the Padres, hitting behind Adrian Gonzalez, and giving the Padres two lefties in the 3-4 spot in the batting order. That is something opponents could exploit in late inning situations down the road, but Headley is off to a nice start in 2010. He is currently hitting .358-.424-.491 in 59 plate appearances, with one HR, seven RBI and five SBs.
In his first full season with the Padres in 2009, Headley went .262-.342-.392 with an ISO of .131. He hit 12 HRs and drove in 64, while stealing 10 bases. He struck out 24.5% of the time, had a 10.1% walk rate and a BABIP of .325. This year he has lowered his K% to 13.25 while maintaining his BB% at 10.2%, but his BABIP is an unsustainable .400. His ISO is just .133.
Fantasy owners are loving the 5 SBs from Headley, as he only stole 10 last season. He could eclipse 20 SBs this season if he keeps running, but I don't see another 3 SB game from him for quite some time. What fantasy owners are looking for is an increase in power from his 12 HR 2009 season. Headley's minor league numbers show that he does have power, as he hit 20 HRs in 2007 a pitcher-friendly home stadium in San Antonio, which is also a pitcher-friendly league.
He currently hits in the worst hitters park in the majors-Petco Park, so I am not sure we will see a big jump in HRs from Headley. He could hit 15 or so, but if he can steal 20+ bases, he will provide value to fantasy leaguers in 2010.
Should the power show up, he will be that much more valuable to fantasy owners in 2010 and beyond.