Tool Time: Top Raw Speed

The ignition is turned, the engine revved and the trail of fire commences. Speed can change ball games in a mystical way. Hall of Famer Rickey Henderson scared the opposition with his raw speed and excellent use of his tools. These San Diego Padres prospects have the jets but differ in how they use the skill.

Everth Cabrera

Taken in the Rule 5 Draft, Cabrera adds a dimension to the Padres that hasn't been seen in quite some time. The shortstop has blazing speed that can generate trouble for opposing pitchers. Not only is he fleet of foot, Cabrera understands how to use it. In 340 minor league games, the Nicaragua native has 155 thefts, including 73 swipes in 121 games a season ago. If he is on base, it is just a matter of time before he is standing on second. Luis Durango

From the batter's box to first, no one in the system is faster than Durango. He makes every single play on the left side of the field an adventure and a bang-bang play.

With his speed, timed at 6.30 in the 60-yard dash last season, Durango should be a better base stealer. He still lacks the knowledge and understanding to take that part of his game to the next level. On speed alone, Durango challenges the defense to make quick plays or suffer.

Drew Cumberland

Cumberland missed the 60-yard dash last year, preventing the showdown between he and Durango that many were hoping to see. He has speed and know-how – a deadly combination.

Cumberland's ability to use his speed effectively puts pressure on the defense and causes them to rush their throws. With good instincts and a growing acumen, Cumberland could easily steal 40 bases in a year.

Brett Dowdy

With great first-step quickness, Dowdy reaches top speed in a flash and wowed the Padres with a strong 6.49 60-yard dash.

The utility player has not been able to translate that speed into stolen bases but is a gritty player that forces the outfield to make quick decisions. If he sees them sleeping, Dowdy is taking the extra base and will do the same even if outfielders are on their game.

Brad Chalk

Chalk is the quintessential leadoff man and center fielder that has speed and skills on the bases. His speed also allows him to reach balls in the outfield others would miss.

Bold in taking strong leads, Chalk recognizes the pitcher's move better than most and has a strong center of balance to take off on a move home. Add in solid speed and he has what it takes to steal 40 bases.

Lance Zawadzki

A natural athlete, Zawadzki has an impressive first-step that pushes him to top speed in a flash. Using that speed has also been easy for the shortstop, as his natural ability shines.

Strong out of the box, Zawadzki can turn singles into doubles. He is also a natural thief, stealing bases by not taking extra steps out of a balanced stance.

Honorable Mention:

Mike Baxter

Surprisingly quick, Baxter hustles out of the box and thinks third base on any balls hit into the gaps. He doesn't slow down even when balls are picked up and adds an extra base more often than most would.

Blake Tekotte

A relative novice to the professional running game, Tekotte has the speed to be a consistent factor but needs to learn the nuances of balance and precision to take advantage of his tools.

Jeudy Valdez

Few have his raw speed, but Valdez has not been able to capitalize on his assets because of his lack of confidence. He has gotten better in his reads but wasn't on base enough to be a factor.

Dan Robertson

All out hustle is the name of the game for Robertson. Few go as hard as he does on every play and he has the speed to make plays closer than fielders believe they will be.

Cole Figueroa

Figueroa is not only quick but also agile. He has terrific lateral movement and straight-line speed, making him a threat to steal bases and cut balls off defensively from his shortstop position.

Rayner Contreras

A bit of an enigma on the base paths. Contreras has the type of speed to be a threat in the running game but has never really used his tool set. He did so more in 2008 but was then suspended.

Robert Perry

Smarts and a tick above average speed make for a fine combination. He is more quick than fast and gets great jumps both in the outfield and on the bases.

Jason Codiroli

An aggressive runner that looks for an opportunity to run, Codiroli has the speed to back it up. He also hustles out of the box and is one of the toughest to double up.

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