Tool Time: Top Raw Speed

Does raw speed translate into stolen bases? No, but you can't teach speed and these San Diego Padres prospects have plenty of it.

Luis Durango

There is a reason the Padres wanted to see Durango bat left-handed – his raw speed is easily the best in the system. A 6.28 60-yard dash last spring cemented his status but it does take Durango a little longer to get accelerate to his top end speed. As a result, his stolen base numbers have not been great.

During the winter, however, Durango broke the Columbian League stolen base record with 30 – most coming in the first half of the year because the opposition began to deliberately try stepping on his hands when he tried to steal a bag. He will need to improve the first-step explosion to be a more consistent threat.

Drew Cumberland

Don't be surprised if Cumberland proves to be the second fastest player in the system, even though he was suffering from severe allergy problems when the club ran the 60-yard dash in spring.

A gifted athlete with good balance and agility, Cumberland should be a consistent threat on the bases. One reason the Padres want him to bunt more is to utilize his impressive speed.

Javis Diaz

Diaz might have the best first step in the chain – and adding balance to his stance has allowed him to get to top speed in a hurry.

A strong argument could be made that Diaz should be higher on the list. Getting down the line to first base is his specialty, breaking out of the box in a hurry.

Brett Dowdy

Line them up and put them in a race, Dowdy will run a 6.4 60-yard dash. Put him in the game and the hustle is there, as Dowdy goes from first to third with the best of them.

For some reason, however, Dowdy does not utilize his tremendous speed to swipe bags. He stole 13 last season and 30 should be the minimum he seeks in any given year.

Rayner Contreras

Based on pure speed alone, Contreras has the skills to be a burner. He uses a long, limber stride to get where he is going but it does take a tick or two to get him up to top speed.

Watching him round a bag and grab an extra base is a pleasure but the infielder will need help in the stolen base department. With his blossoming power, however, it is likely not in the cards.

Honorable mention:

Brad Chalk

A back injury may have limited him last season, but Chalk has terrific speed that should get better once he learns to use a more explosive first step.

Jeudy Valdez

With his speed, Valdez could be a perennial stolen base threat that will notch quite a few extra base hits. He just has to learn how to fully utilize it.

Robert Perry

An all-out hustler, Perry is a demon running from first to third and a pleasure to watch out of the box when he felt triple. He used every opportunity to showcase his speed.

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