MIs to watch: Alcides Escobar blossoming 

July, 1, 2011
I can honestly say that a month ago I didn't expect Kansas City Royals future studs Eric Hosmer and Mike Moustakas to be among the most dropped players in fantasy baseball as July began. In fact, no two corner infielders have been dropped in more leagues over the past week. Similarly, two of the most added middle infielders are also Royals, Chris Getz and Alcides Escobar. OK, is this some kind of joke?

The truth is Getz and Escobar might not seem to be the most talented players, while first baseman Hosmer has drawn comparisons to Joey Votto and third baseman Moustakas possesses 30-homer potential, but stolen bases also count in fantasy leagues, and Getz/Escobar provide them. Getz boasts a pair of multi-steal performances in the past 10 days, and 14 steals for the season. Only 22 players have more steals, and all are owned in more leagues than Getz (7.2 percent). It's not a fluke; Getz has 54 steals in 62 attempts over the past three seasons.

[+] EnlargeAlcides Escobar
Tim Larson/Icon SMIAlcides Escobar ranks 69th overall on the ESPN Player Rater over the past 30 days.
Escobar, of course, is the one fantasy owners are more interested in. The former Brewers great -- well, maybe not, but I do enjoy when anchor Steve Berthiaume talks that way on "Baseball Tonight" -- hit .305 with seven stolen bases in June, scoring 15 runs in the process. Only 11 middle infielders rank better on ESPN's Player Rater over the past 30 days. That doesn't mean Escobar is better than Robinson Cano, Rickie Weeks, Jimmy Rollins or Ben Zobrist, even though he outperformed all of them fantasy-wise in June, but it has boosted Escobar's ownership percentage in ESPN standard leagues to 73.9 percent. I don't think he'll hit .270 for the season, but the Royals have a pair of potential 25-steal middle infielders there. Good for them ... and us!