Statcast, the gift that keeps on giving, has released a new tool measuring sprint speeds by position, and as you might expect the Rays center fielders are near the top of the list.
Kevin Kiermaier (who is currently on the disabled list after an injury on the base paths) and Mallex Smith are tied for eighth on the leaderboard, as of June 27, 2017:
Accordingly, Mallex and KK are also the fastest players in the AL East. This is something you might have felt to be true, but it’s great to see it in the spreadsheet as well.
Here’s how Statcast is measuring speed:
Sprint Speed is Statcast’s foot speed metric, defined as “feet per second in a player’s fastest one-second window.” The Major League average on a "max effort" play is 27 ft/sec, and the max effort range is roughly from 23 ft/sec (poor) to 30 ft/sec (elite). A player must have at least 10 max effort runs to qualify for this leaderboard. Read more about how Sprint Speed works here.
Using the position filters, the other Rays player who jumps out is Corey Dickerson, who is far and away that fastest designated hitter in the game.
The only dot close to Corey above average is Twins platoon OF Robbie Grossman, who has played only two games at DH this month. And that dot all the way to the left on the top row? It’s not Victor Martinez, but Albert Pujols!
Go check out all the fun on the Statcast Sprint Speed Leaderboard.