Are you tired of columns telling you that the smart "pickups" each week are players who are already owned in your league … and more often than not sold for real money at auction? If you're hard-core, then this is column is for you: real-world pickups for deep AL- or NL-only leagues.
Michael Bourn, OF, PHI -- Speedy fifth outfielders are already claimed in the deepest leagues, but Bourn may still be available in many in semi-deep leagues. Now that Jayson Werth has hit the DL, Bourn will see a spike in playing time that could make his stolen-base potential even more valuable. With swipes in both halves of Friday's doubleheader, he's already stolen 13 bases in only 59 at-bats, without getting caught. He could easily provide another 15 steals over the second half of the season. Bourn has no power and will never be a high-average hitter in the majors, but his defense is excellent and his plate discipline is solid, which is enough for the twenty-four-year old to be a useful reserve outfielder for years to come. His fantasy value, of course, is in his legs. Not only did Bourn steal 163 bases in 1,552 at-bats in his minor-league career, he did so at an 85 percent success rate, and compiled a .379 on-base percentage to boot. Bourn should complete the process of seizing the fourth outfielder role from Werth while the latter is on the disabled list, and is a solid pickup for both 2007 and future seasons.