Who Were the Speediest Baltimore Orioles in 2019?
With so much focus on home runs, Baltimore Orioles fans do not get to see how fast many of the young players actually are.
Unfortunately, we haven’t be able to see what Baltimore Orioles players have the wheels in 2020, but it’s safe to say those who had them in 2019 will have them again.
Who were the speediest O’s in 2019?
It shouldn’t come as much of a surprise, but in the MLB, the fastest players are generally outfielders or middle infielders. The slowest usually play the catcher or first base. Third base has mixed results. Men who fill the DH role are expected to hit the ball hard, but not get anywhere fast.
According to the 2019 Statcast leaderboard for speediest runners, the fastest Orioles player is Richie Martin. But, he’s far from the speediest in the MLB, and lands in the 18th spot when measuring sprint speeds. That’s not too shabby, considering the number of men in the league. The next fastest is Cedric Mullins, who finished in the 44th spot in 2019.
The Statcast speeds are calculated during sprints as feet per second. The league average is 27 feet per second in a sprint. The fastest are Tim Locastro and Trea Turner who can reach sprint speeds of 30.8 and 30.5 feet per second.
It is clear that some teams value speed more than others. When looking at the top 20 fastest sprinter in the league, 11 of them are NL players with six in two teams. The Marlins have three in the top 15, and the Cardinals have three in the top 17.
Statcast has a few other metrics that determine speed. One is the speed from home to first. The differences between 1st and 10th is only .08 seconds. Only seven MLB players can make the run in less than 4 seconds with left-handed batter Magneuris Sierra doing it in 3.93 seconds. The second fastest is right-handed Locastro who gets from home to first in 3.94 seconds.
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Mullins is the speediest for the O’s with a home to first time of 4.06. Austin Hays is next for the O”s with a speed of 4.20.
Overall, in 2019, the Orioles were a slower than average team. Of the 21 measured by Statcast, only nine were faster than the 27 feet per second rate. The slowest outfielders were Trey Mancini and Dwight Smith Jr.who clocked in at 26.7 and 26.1. The slowest on the team were the three catchers and Chris Davis and Mark Trumbo.
Shortstop Jose Iglesias – the only notable acquisition for the 2020 season – is no longer as fast as he was. In 2019, with the Reds, his feet per second rate of 27.1. Comparing him to the 2019 Orioles, he is tied with Renato Nunez in the 9th fastest spot.
While I love watching a majestic home run exit the park, I do love watching players leg-out a triple or steal second. Foot speed is an under-rated skill in the MLB. It adds an element of suspense to the game, especially when a fast runner is on first.