How Fast Is Manuel Margot?

Faster than a roadrunner? (yes)

Faster than a coyote? (no)

Faster than a Billy Hamilton? (not yet)

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Manuel Margot hit a triple in a spring training game last week, an event that was digitally recorded, uploaded onto the internet, and then embedded here:

The triple was encouraging because it came off big-league pitcher Tyler Chatwood, and also because it showed off some of Margot’s occasionally absent power. It also displayed his speed. By my hand-timed estimate*, Margot got from home to third in about 10.90 seconds, which is . . . fast. How fast, though?

For some context, let’s check out some home-to-third times from a group of noted speedsters, to see where Margot stands. I’ve included a tenth of a second penalty to left-handed hitters for their proximity to first base and added in top speed in parenthesis where available (via Statcast).

Billy Hamilton: 10.55, 10.40
Byron Buxton: 10.71 (21.4), 10.83 (21.2)
Mike Trout11.01 (21.3), 10.75
Trea Turner: 11.15 (22.7), 11.00 (22.4)
Delino DeShields: 10.94, 10.93
Travis Jankowski**: 11.17, 10.60

Okay, so Margot fits squarely into this group; a touch slower than Hamilton but comparable to everyone else.

We also have this video of Margot, from last year, with a Statcast-timed 10.85 seconds and, more intriguingly, a 23.7 mph top speed. That’s one mph faster than any of the times tracked above, and faster than any I’ve seen. Since Statcast data isn’t available in bulk (*grrrr*), there’s a certain amount of guesswork here.

Either way, in the big picture, one thing is obvious: So long as the recent knee injury isn’t serious, there’s a good chance Margot will soon be discussed as one of the game’s fastest players.

***

*Strangely, the hand-times estimated are almost always around 0.2 seconds faster than the Statcast-timed ones. I have some theories, but I’m not sure—and we’ll avoid getting into the weeds here. It messes with some of the above numbers, but only slightly.

**Oh yeah, Jankowski is fast too. Really fast; like common octopus-fast. For all of their potential faults, at some point in 2017, the Padres should have one of the league’s best defensive outfields.

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  • Drakos

    Man, you learn something new everyday. I had no idea coyotes were that fast.

    • ballybunion

      Just don’t think that because coyotes are faster than roadrunners, Wile E. Coyote didn’t need all that stuff from Acme Industries, and could have caught the Roadrunner easily. The reason? Roadrunners can fly. Literally.