2011 TigsTools: Fastest Runner

Speed is one of the few scouting metrics for position players that are 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.

Fastest Runner
1. Gustavo Nunez (SS)
2. Ismael Salgado (OF)
3. Cale Iorg (SS)
4. Tyler Gibson (OF)
5. P.J. Polk (OF)

Just about every system in baseball has one or two 80-grade runners that make stop watches start smoking. Nunez is one of those players, and he actually breaks the traditional scouting scale. I have had scouts report sub-3.70 times to first base for Nunez, making him easily the fastest player in the system.

Salgado is another 80-grade burner that can fly down the line and cover tons of ground in the outfield. He is extremely raw in terms of his ability to utilize his speed but he has the potential to be a game changing defender and base runner.

You can toss Iorg, Gibson and Polk in a hat and pick one out and I wouldn't argue with the ordering of these players on this list. I give Iorg the nod because of his instincts and ability to put his raw speed to work. He grades as a 65-70 runner on the 20-80 scouting scale. Gibson and Polk both rate in the same vicinity.

Honorable Mention
Jamie Johnson
Brandon Loy

Johnson and Loy will both turn in 60-grade times from home-to-first and both can be very strong base stealing threats because of their ability to eat up real estate. As plus runners, both players can utilize their speed to impact the game and that may give them an added edge in getting to the big leagues.

Projection Kings
Harold Castro
Steven Fuentes

Both Castro and Fuentes will flash plus running times on occasion but neither is consistent in their ability to get out of the box. Once underway both players are very good runners that merit consideration for the back of this list, and with more experience they could sneak their way onto the list.

Others Considered
Luis Castillo
Tyler Collins
Justin Henry
Dixon Machado
Michael Rockett
Chad Wright

Machado has the best chance to vault himself from this portion of the list to the loftier ends, and he could do that with some added strength and additional instruction. Both Castillo and Rockett will toss in the occasional 60-grade time, but much more frequently sit in the 55 speed range. Write and Henry are both solid-average runners with good instincts on the bases and in the field.

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2011 TigsTools: Fastest Runner

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