2012 TigsTools: Best Speed

Speed is one of the few scouting metrics for position players that is based on a concrete number rather than subjective observation. Much of this rating is based on raw home-to-first times and 60-yard dash times.

Best Speed
1. Austin Schotts (OF)
2. Ismael Salgado (OF)
3. Rashad Brown (OF)
4. Miguel Paulino (OF)
5. Victor Padron (2B)

Schotts is one of the better overall athletes in the system and that stands out with his running ability. He consistently turns in 4.00-4.15 second times from home to first, with the greatest frequency coming in the 4.08-4.14 range. He's a true plus-plus runner that has impact speed on the bases and in the field. His instincts have to catch up with his raw speed, but he has the stuff to wreak havoc at the top of a lineup.

Each of Salgado, Brown, Paulino and Padron are just raw sprinters that can get after it. Salgado is no stranger to this list, having ranked second last year as well. He can get down the line with 70-grade times, much like Schotts, but lacks the consistency in doing so. Brown and Paulino have both shown at least plus times, with some faster versions thrown in the mix. Padron is a true plus runner.

Honorable Mention
Harold Castro (2B)
Carlos De Los Santos (IF)
Dixon Machado (SS)

All three of these prospects are very close to the back of the Top 5, offering speed comparable to Padron. Castro is more likely to slow down than the other two, but he should still be an above-average runner down the line. De Los Santos offers above-average to plus speed to first and on the bases, but his out-of-control style of play can negate that at times. Machado's plus times are less frequent than in the past, but he can still pick them up and put them down when he needs to.

Projection Kings
Eurys Felipe (IF)
Domingo Leyba (SS)

Both of these young Latin American players are good runners that could improve some with more strength in their lower halves. Leyba has more room for improvement than Felipe, given his age and current physical stature. Neither projects as better than above-average to plus, but they should be able to impact the game on the bases to some degree.

Others Considered
Avisail Garcia (OF)
Jamie Johnson (OF)
Brandon Loy (IF)
Hernan Perez (2B)
Eugenio Suarez (SS)

Several other Tigers prospects offered solid-average or better speed but were a good half to full grade behind the guys further up on the list. Both Johnson and Garcia have shown the ability to run at plus levels, but both consistently run in the above-average range, and Garcia's large frame suggest he is likely to slow down with maturity. Loy, Perez and Suarez run in that range as well.

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