We all know that the Colorado Rockies were not the fastest team in Major League Baseball in 2017. When a team finishes tied for 25th out of 30 squads in stolen bases with just 59 swipes (.364 steals per game), it is no secret that, while speed often kills, you will not have to worry about quickness on the basepaths when facing the Rockies.
To look at exactly how the Rockies fared in terms of speed compared to their colleagues in 2017, we headed to Baseball Savant at MLB.com to look at the average sprint speed from Statcast. On the site, here is how average sprint speed is compiled and calculated…
"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."
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According to that definition, there were seven members of the Rockies who were “above average” in 2017 and six who were “below average.” The speeds ranged from 23-year-old Raimel Tapia at 29.5 feet per second to 34-year-old Mark Reynolds at 25.9 feet per second.
Here is an interesting note about Tapia: He led all MLB right fielders in speed with his 29.5 mark and was tied for the seventh-fastest time among all qualifiers. Minnesota’s Byron Buxton came in at a league-leading 30.2 ft/sec while Cincinnati’s Billy Hamilton finished at 30.1. Those were the only two players to register more than 30 ft/sec.
Here is a look at how the 13 Colorado qualifiers from last season finished in their respective positions. They are listed below from fastest to slowest.
RF Raimel Tapia – 29.5 ft/sec (1st out of 51)
SS Trevor Story – 28.4 ft/sec (tied for 8th out of 49)
Incidentally, former Rockies shortstop Troy Tulowitzki was last in this category at 25.2 ft/sec)
CF Charlie Blackmon – 28.1 ft/sec (tied for 34th out of 57)
SS Pat Valaika – 27.5 ft/sec (tied for 27th out of 49)
LF Ian Desmond – 27.5 ft/sec (tied for 30th out of 58)
SS Alexi Amarista – 27.4 ft/sec (tied for 30th out of 49)
2B DJ LeMahieu – 27.2 ft/sec (tied for 34th out of 56)
3B Nolan Arenado – 26.7 ft/sec (tied for 29th out of 54)
RF Carlos Gonzalez – 26.6 ft/sec (45th out of 51)
LF Gerardo Parra – 26.4 ft/sec (tied for 50th out of 58)
C Tony Wolters – 26.4 ft/sec (13th out of 62)
C Jonathan Lucroy – 26.2 ft/sec (tied for 18th out of 62)
1B Mark Reynolds – 25.9 ft/sec (tied for 32nd out of 48)