This is the fastest player on every team

June 6th, 2022

Everyone has their theories as to why this is the case, but it’s undeniable that the game of baseball is being played a little bit differently this year. Power is down, strikeouts are up (relative to the DH in both leagues, anyway) and offense, while starting to warm up a bit with the weather, is still a little sluggish. That has put an emphasis on the most old school of baseball skills: speed.

They say speed never slumps, and in period of flux like right now, speed is one of the few things any team can count on. A few days ago, our friends at MLB Pipeline looked at the fastest prospect in each system. And today we are going to take a look at the fastest guy on every Major League team, the guy whose speed is making the most difference, in the field and on the basepaths.

Selections are based on Statcast sprint speed and stolen base totals, but also includes a general assessment of how each player’s speed impacts games.

AMERICAN LEAGUE EAST

Blue Jays: Bradley Zimmer, OF
Key Stat: 29.5 ft/sec sprint speed
Zimmer’s bat has kept him out of the lineup, but even though George Springer has center field on lock, Springer is 32 years old and a guy with a career’s worth of injuries. Zimmer’s elite speed can come in handy late in games, even if he can’t get on base much.

Orioles: Cedric Mullins, CF
Key Stat: 28.6 ft/sec sprint speed; 11 SB
Teammate Jorge Mateo has the top sprint speed — his 30.2 ft/sec is second fastest in baseball — but Mullins actually has the fastest 90-foot splits in all of baseball. And those 90 feet … that’s where the game is played, after all.

Rays: Kevin Kiermaier, CF
Key Stat: 29.2 feet/sec sprint speed
For all the innovations the Rays have come up with over the last decade, speed isn’t actually one of their strengths: Kiermaier has been the fastest guy on this team pretty much his entire career.

Red Sox: Franchy Cordero, OF
Key Stat: 28.5 ft/sec sprint speed
A triples specialist in the Minors, Cordero is shockingly fast for a guy as big as he is (6-foot-3, 226 pounds). Trevor Story is another candidate here, though his sprint speed is down from 29.7 feet/sec in 2018 to 28.2 this year.

Yankees: Isiah Kiner-Falefa, SS
Key Stat: 28.5 ft/sec sprint speed
The Yankees are generally a lumbering team, mostly by design — you don’t really want Aaron Judge and Giancarlo Stanton running that hard. Aaron Hicks used to be the fastest guy on this team — he may have thrown the hardest too — but now in his 30s, those skills have slowly eroded.

AL CENTRAL

Guardians: Myles Straw, CF
Key Stat: 9 SB
Straw hasn’t solved all of the Guardians’ outfield issues, but he’s patrolling center field with ease and even stealing bases at an impressive clip.

Royals: Bobby Witt Jr., SS
Key Stat: 30.4 ft/sec sprint speed
Witt Jr.’s offense so far hasn’t been what the Royals hoped for, but that’ll come. The speed, though, has been there from the beginning. Witt’s 30.4 ft/sec sprint speed is the fastest in the Majors.

Tigers: Derek Hill, CF
Key Stat: 29.4 feet/sec sprint speed
Comerica Park is famously a huge ballpark with a ton of ground to cover, which is why the Tigers need someone with the wheels of Hill patrolling center field. The problem is that he’s having as much trouble getting on base (.284 OBP) as the rest of this lineup.

Twins: Byron Buxton, CF
Key Stat: 29.1 ft/sec sprint speed
Buxton is still the fastest guy on this roster, but it’s worth noting that he has very much traded off speed for power as a hitter in the last few years. In 2017, he had 16 homers and 29 stolen bases. This year? 12 homers and … one steal. It’s also worth noting this is the first year of his career he has been under 30 ft/sec sprint speed.

White Sox: Adam Engel, CF
Key Stat: 29.1 ft/sec sprint speed
It tells you a ton about the way the White Sox roster is currently constructed that a guy who is obviously, without question, not-even-close the fastest guy on this team is in his 30s.

AL WEST

Angels: Mike Trout, CF
Key Stat: 29.3 ft/sec sprint speed
Jo Adell, now back in the Minors, has a slightly faster top speed, and obviously Shohei Ohtani has plenty of speed, but the fastest guy from base to base remains, impressively, Trout. Per sprint speed, Trout’s the 17th fastest player in the Majors.

Astros: Jose Siri, CF
Key Stat: 30.2 ft/sec sprint speed
Siri’s blinding speed has been a signature of the Astros’ defense for a few years now. He seems to be getting faster every year.

Athletics: Cristian Pache, CF
Key Stat: 28.5 ft/sec sprint speed
One of the main prospects the A’s got back from all their offseason trades, the offense hasn’t been there, but the pure athleticism absolutely has been.

Mariners: Julio Rodr?guez, RF
Key Stat: 29.8 ft/sec sprint speed, 16 SB
It took him a while to get his bat going, but now he’s hitting for power, and he’s one of the fastest players in baseball. He already leads the Majors in steals, and you get a sense he might do so for many years to come.

Rangers: Eli White, OF
Key Stat: 30.0 ft/sec sprint speed
His incredible catch against the Rays this week caught all the headlines, but it’s worth remembering you have to be as fast as he is just to get to that ball in the first place.

NATIONAL LEAGUE EAST

Braves: Ronald Acu?a Jr., RF
Key Stat: 9 SB
How’s the knee? Well, Acu?a stole two bases in his first game back after missing nearly a year following surgery for a torn right ACL, and he hasn’t stopped running since. This is a level of athleticism that will not be denied.

Marlins: Jazz Chisholm Jr., 2B
Key Stat: 29.3 ft/sec sprint speed
With apologies to fellow speedster Jon Berti, Chisholm has always been known as a burner. Now that he’s added this much power to his game (.513 slugging percentage), he’s not just a dual threat: He’s a stealth MVP candidate.

Mets: Starling Marte, CF
Key Stat: 28.4 ft/sec sprint speed
The Mets are one of the slower teams in baseball, but it hasn’t affected them one bit yet. Marte is fast, but the 33-year-old is getting up there in years.

Nationals: Victor Robles, CF
Key Stat: 28.2 ft/sec sprint speed
The one-time uber-prospect hasn’t rounded out all aspects of his game, but the speed has always been there. It’s not going away any time soon either.

Phillies: Jean Segura, 2B
Key Stat: 8 SB
The Phillies are built as a team meant to utilize its speed best by jogging around the bases after a home run, but Segura is good at getting himself in scoring position when need be. Unfortunately, he’s now out for a couple of months after undergoing surgery on a fractured right index finger.

NL CENTRAL

Brewers: Andrew McCutchen, LF
Key Stat: 28.6 ft/sec sprint speed
Did you realize that McCutchen was still this fast? I did not! The former MVP is the fastest guy on this team, if you can believe that.

Cardinals: Harrison Bader, CF
Key Stat: 14 SB (NL co-leader)
The Cardinals, true to their 1980s form, are one of the speediest teams in baseball, with three players — Bader, Tyler O’Neill and Tommy Edman — all sporting elite wheels.

Cubs: Christopher Morel, 3B
Key Stat: 29.0 ft/sec sprint speed
Morel is the newest addition to the Cubs’ roster, and he gives their lineup a spark that is very much needed.

Pirates: Ke’Bryan Hayes, 3B
Key Stat: 6 SB
The Pirates aren’t a particularly speedy team — the fastest sprint speed on this roster belongs to … Michael Chavis? — but Hayes’ speed helps him more with his brilliant third-base defense than you might think.

Reds: Aristides Aquino, RF
Key Stat: 28.7 ft/sec sprint speed
Aquino has come a long way since he took the league by storm with his power when he first arrived. The bat has almost vanished — he’s hitting .134 — but the speed and especially his incredible arm in the outfield have emerged as among the best in the game.

NL WEST

Diamondbacks: Alek Thomas, CF
Key Stat: 29.1 ft/sec sprint speed
Thomas has emerged as one of the most exciting rookies in baseball, a potential five-tool player for a franchise that could use another young player around which to build.

Dodgers: Trea Turner, SS
Key Stat: 30.2 ft/sec sprint speed
Turner is the fastest player in the National League, and he utilizes his speed not just in the field and on the basepaths, but with his super-smooth slides into home.

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Giants: Austin Slater, CF
Key Stat: 28.1 ft/sec sprint speed
An older team like the Giants is not built around speed at all, though you know the minute they think it’ll give them a competitive advantage to do so, they’ll immediately shift that way.

Padres: Trent Grisham, CF
Key Stat: 28.9 ft/sec sprint speed
The Padres’ trade for Grisham hasn’t exactly turned out the way they would have liked it to, but he still is stacked with talent, and he gets around the bases as well as anyone.

Rockies: Garret Hampson, CF
Key Stat: 29.1 ft/sec sprint speed
For perfectly logical reasons, the Rockies don’t build their offense around speed, but Hampson, who can play anywhere on the field, is a nifty and handy guy to have off the bench.