20% Owned in ESPN, 17% in Yahoo

It hasn’t even been two full years since the Padres made a splash in the offseason by acquiring players such as James Shields, Craig Kimbrel, Justin Upton, and Wil Myers. The 2015 team, so aggressively assembled, failed to meet expectations and with three of those four players mentioned above no longer with the club, San Diego now finds themselves in the midst of a rebuild.

With that, Travis Jankowski, the Padres 2012 supplemental first-round pick, has now been given the opportunity for everyday playing time. Jankowski made the 25-man roster out of Spring Training but it wasn’t until the middle of June that he started to see regular at-bats. Fast forward to early August and he’s now hitting atop the Padres lineup.

So what kind of player is Travis Jankowski? Quite simply, Jankowski is an outfielder who showcases elite speed and an ability to get on base at a solid rate. Let’s discuss…

About his speed:

Jankowski stole 71 bases in 493 at bats (122 games) in 2013, with San Diego’s Single-A affiliate. That’s a stolen base every 6.9 at bats. In his 180 at-bats this season, Jankowski has swiped 24 bags, or one for every 7.5 at bats. Let’s add some perspective to these ratios. Dee Gordon, the 2015 leader in stolen bases, amassed 58 thefts in 615 at-bats last season. That’s a stolen base every 10.6 at-bats. Jankowski not only has wheels but he’s a smart base runner as well.

About getting on base:

Jankowski has a walk rate of 14.4% and an OBP of .376 this season. The league average in 2016 is 8.1% and .321, respectively. Jankowski has a considerably high strikeout rate this season (27%) but his career minor league mark is under 15% so if he even just splits the difference, he’s still under the league average of 21%.

Travis Jankowski at bat
Photo credit: SD Dirk

The downside to Jankowski in the fantasy game is that he will not provide you anything in the form of power (only 3 HRs in 326 career minor league games).

Since June 16th (41 games), when Jankowski first started seeing every day playing time, he’s batting .267 with a .396 OBP, 29 runs scored, and 19 stolen bases. Extrapolated across an entire season that’s almost 115 runs scored and 75 stolen bases. Now I know what a lot of you are probably saying, in a day where everyone is always on the lookout for the next five-category prospect to be called up, that these numbers are boring. And for the average fantasy player, they are, but you’re reading Fantasy Couch, which makes you smarter than the average fantasy player. Meaning you know that runs scored is easily the most overlooked stat in fantasy baseball. So for those of you looking for a difference maker in an otherwise overlooked category then Jankowski is an excellent, cheap source for runs and steals as he’s currently owned in 20% of ESPN leagues and only 17% of Yahoo leagues.

Background image photo credit: Keith Allison

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