Fantasy baseball category killers: steals

Fantasy baseball category killers: steals

By Rob Steingall

Alcides Escobar, Royals: Those waiting for Escobar's breakout have to be thrilled with his season performance, especially in the average (.301) and steals (20) department. Escobar hasn't slowed down, with three steals already in August. If he keeps this pace up, he should top 30 steals for the first time in his career.

Jarrod Dyson, Royals: If you're in need of outfield speed, stay in Kansas City and give Dyson a look. With Jeff Francoeur spending more time riding the pine, Dyson has gotten an immediate boost in value, and has respond with three multi-hit games already in August. He has seven steals during the past month, and should have plenty of value even in a timeshare situation.

Coco Crisp, Athletics: You never know if he's going to be healthy for an extended period of time, but when he is, he's pretty good. Crisp has five steals during the past month, and is hitting a useful .333 during that time as well. He's a good bet to top the 30-steal mark for the third year in a row.

Drew Stubbs, Reds: He's been the National League's version of Mike Trout during the past month (.307, 23 R, 6 HR, 17 RBI, 8 SB), which is quite a compliment, as Trout has been simply incredible. His propensity for strikeouts and low batting average usually scare owners away. But if that allows you to get him on the cheap, pounce on the opportunity.

Jose Altuve, Astros: The guy just flat out hits, and is proving to be quite useful on the bases as well, collecting 20 steals already this year. Altuve has six steals in the last month, and looks to be closing in on 30.

Chicago native Brandon McCoy returns home for McDonald's All-American Game

Chicago native Brandon McCoy returns home for McDonald's All-American Game

The 2017 McDonald's All-American Game will be without an Illinois high school basketball player for the second consecutive year.

While the local drought for elite IHSA talent continues, this year's McDonald's game at least has a Chicago native in the mix as 7-foot big man Brandon McCoy is returning home to participate in the game. McCoy is considered the No. 15 prospect in the country according to

A native of the West Side of the city, McCoy moved to San Diego during his middle school years, but he still has a lot of family and friends in Chicago supporting him.

A five-star prospect who is deciding between Arizona, Michigan State, Oregon and UNLV, McCoy has already been back to Chicago once during his high school career to compete at the Proviso West Holiday Tournament as a junior.

McCoy will take the floor with the West Team at the United Center tonight as he's one of six uncommitted prospects in the game.

Ryan Hartman returns for Blackhawks vs. Penguins

Ryan Hartman returns for Blackhawks vs. Penguins

PITTSBURGH — Ryan Hartman has played on the right side of that line for most of this season. Now back in the lineup, he knows he has to stay on it.

Hartman will play after missing Monday's game as a healthy scratch when the Blackhawks face the Pittsburgh Penguins on Wednesday night. Hartman took a few bad penalties, including an unsportsmanlike conduct, against the Florida Panthers last weekend, so he sat vs. the Tampa Bay Lightning. The rookie knows he has to get back to the more disciplined hockey he's played most of the season. 

"I don't change my game. I think you take the message and deliver the message," Hartman said. "Obviously, no one likes to not play, everyone wants to play games and no one likes to sit out games. It's definitely something that I took to heart. I'm just going to go out there and just try to play like I've been playing and get on the scoresheet. Just stay off it for the wrong reasons."

Coach Joel Quenneville said Hartman has to stay on the right side of the line.

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"Know there are boundaries and sometimes you get watched a little bit more," Quenneville said. "The way they're calling the game, the way it's being officiated, be respectful. You still have to be hard to play against and find that limit, how far you can push it but you get a good feel on that early in games."

The Penguins are on a three-game winless streak (0-2-1) and are dealing with some injuries. The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports that, while Evgeni Malkin (shoulder) is close to returning, he won't play against the Blackhawks.

Broadcast information

Time: 7 p.m.
Live stream: NBC Sports app
Radio: WGN 720 AM

Blackhawks lines

Nick Schmaltz-Jonathan Toews-Richard Panik
Artemi Panarin-Tanner Kero-Patrick Kane
Ryan Hartman-Marcus Kruger-Marian Hossa
John Hayden-Dennis Rasmussen-Tomas Jurco

Defensive pairs 

Duncan Keith-Niklas Hjalmarsson
Johnny Oduya-Brent Seabrook
Brian Campbell-Trevor van Riemsdyk


Corey Crawford


Artem Anisimov (left leg)

Penguins lines

Conor-Sheary-Sidney Crosby-Bryan Rust
Chris Kunitz-Nick Bonino-Patric Hornqvist
Scott Wilson-Carter Rowney-Phil Kessel
Tom Kuhnhackl-Oskar Sundqvist-Josh Archibald

Defensive pairs

Brian Dumoulin-Justin Schultz
Ian Cole-Chad Ruhwedel
Cameron Gaunce-Mark Streit


Marc-Andre Fleury


Evgeni Malkin (shoulder), Trevor Daley (knee), Daniel Sprong (shoulder), Jake Guentzel (concussion), Olli Maatta (hand), Kris Letang (upper body), Carl Hagelin (foot), Ron Hainsey (upper body)